Holy Island and Lowick First schools have been doing their bit for breeding shorebirds by helping make handcrafted model little terns as part of the Northumberland Little Tern project.
During the summer, these rare seabirds come to the Northumberland coast to nest and take advantage of our North Sea larder a few flaps away. In recent years they have declined greatly as their nesting areas face increasing pressure from disturbance, predators and high tides.
The decoys made by the schools will be used to encourage the birds to nest in more favourable areas at Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve (NNR) and elsewhere along the Northumberland coast.
These lovely painted little tern decoys are coupled with pre-recorded calls of little terns and placed in fenced-off areas on the beach, with the hope of encouraging little terns to nest in these protected places along the Northumberland coast.
The work done by the schools has meant that not only will the decoys be used here on the Northumberland Coast, but they will also be winging their way to help other sites in Cumbria and Norfolk. Each bird has the child's name on it so that they can keep track of their progress as the terns go to help other sites.
Chantal Macleod-Nolan, EU+ Life Little Tern Project Co-ordinator, said: "A big thank you goes to Holy Island and Lowick First Schools. We had a great day working with the children painting decoys and explaining the difficulties that nesting shorebirds face. It's amazing to think that some of the decoys we made up here in Northumberland will be helping other sites around the country - the school really has done a good turn."