What we're looking for
The Little Tern is one of the UK's rarest seabirds and has suffered chronic decline over the past 25 years. While populations have stabilised around the UK thanks to protection projects such as this, they are under more pressure now than ever before due to increased beach use, climate change, habitat loss and predation. Norfolk is a stronghold for little terns, holding 30% of the UK's breeding population during the summer months, and the numbers in the East Norfolk area make up one of the largest and most important colonies in the UK. The Winterton colony is monitored 24 hrs, 7 days a week. The main task for daytime volunteers is to talk to members of the public to prevent disturbance of the colony and take part in monitoring the birds. But little terns are also under threat at night, especially from predators. This is where we need your help. We are looking to recruit night-time volunteers to patrol the beach during the hours of darkness with high powered lights looking for predators, and deterring them from entering the colony. RSPB wardens will be on site overnight in two staggered shifts, from 8pm to 4 am and from 10pm to 6am, so you would not be alone! Ideally we would like to find volunteers willing to cover an eight hour shift alongside the warden, or at minimum a 4 hr shift. We are keen to find people who could actively take part throughout the breeding season (May to August), but we can adjust to fit your planned holidays. We would like to suggest a time commitment of at least one night/week, with a view to increasing this if you can manage to, and of course, the more you do the more you get out of it. It really is up to you and every little helps, so what time you are on site depends on your circumstances, preferences, and where need is greatest.