How your gift can help turn the tide
As so many seabirds depend on our reserves, their future is in our hands. If you love your coast, please give all you can now to help fund our vital coastal conservation work. As we explain below, with your gift today we could:
- Discover and help protect vital feeding grounds; GPS tracking, is helping us learn where governments need to protect fish stocks and foraging areas to save chicks from hunger
- Free islands of invasive non-native predators around the UK. We’re removing rats to prevent the needless loss of young chicks and eggs
- Help our coastal life adapt to rising seas nationwide. We’re creating saltmarsh buffer zones, which protect coastal wildlife
Spring is the time of year when high tides threaten our wading birds and when millions of seabirds come back to breed on our shores. We urgently need your support to give them the best chance of success this year. Please give all you can today.
Support the Coasts in Crisis Appeal
Why our coasts need your help
Our cliffs are home to spectacular seabird cities of puffins, kittiwakes and razorbills. Our lower-lying shores are home to millions of wonderful wading birds, and the amazing sight of thousands of barnacle geese coming to roost under sunset skies. Yet dangers threaten our coastal life.
- Seabird numbers are crashing as chicks starve to death. Climate change, compounded by overfishing, mean adult birds can’t find enough fish to feed their young.
- Meanwhile, on our offshore islands, chicks and eggs are falling prey to invasive non-native predators such as rats.
- On our lower lying shores, higher tides are threatening the shingle beach homes where little terns make their home. Further inland, avocet breeding sites are also under threat.
Yet we can help turn the tide. Our coastal reserves are vitally important to support breeding seabirds and other precious wildlife.
Your gift can protect coasts all around the UK.
How your gift could help save pufflings in Scotland
Commonly nesting in burrows on our UK offshore islands, birds like puffins and Manx shearwaters often see their chicks killed by invasive non-native rats.
Over the last 17 years, supporters like you have helped fund pioneering programmes to remove invasive non-native predators on islands up and down the west coast. As our slideshow explains, it’s a painstaking but vital process
- Survey the site. These assessments quantify how predation might be affecting nesting success. It can be precarious work, involving abseiling down inaccessible ledges and sheer cliff sides!
- Eradicate the rats. In winter, it’s time to lay the poison, when the birds are out at sea. We use a variety of ways to remove rats, but complete eradication is the only solution.
- Secure the site. On many islands, invasive non-native species arrived accidently on shipwrecks. Inadvertent colonisation can just as easily happen again today. So, we put in place measures to minimise the risk.
- Call back the seabirds. One way to tempt back Manx shearwaters and storm petrels is to play recordings of their calls at the beginning of the breeding season.
Danger threatens our sea and shore birds
We urgently need your donation today to turn the tide for coastal life.
Please help protect our wonderful shoreline birdsIn Scotland, seabird numbers have fallen by half since the 1980s - puffins, kittiwakes, and shags are all disappearing. Meanwhile, on lower-lying shores, rising seas are threatening red-listed ringed plovers; little terns are struggling to raise a family and the saltmarsh where avocets and other wading birds feed are under threat.
You could help to protect seabird feeding grounds with GPS
Ellie Owen shows us how she maps out the most important feeding grounds for UK and Irish seabirds. Ellie and her colleagues have used miniature GPS technology to track more than 1,300 adult birds from 29 different colonies.
Your donation could help protect wading birds from rising seas
In this video, Chris Packham explains how creating new saltmarsh habitat helped protect coastal wildlife just inland at RSPB Titchwell in Norfolk. See the slideshow below for more detail on how it works.
How we’re reshaping our low-lying coasts
- Letting high tides in - In the past, high floodwalls were built to repel the sea and drain natural saltmarsh for agriculture. Now we’re working with partners, such as the Environment Agency, to breach these walls and let the tides back in.
- Creates ‘cushioning’ saltmarsh - Breaching these walls restores the natural saltmarsh, which absorbs the energy of the tide and creates a wonderful wildlife habitat. The tide brings in nutrients that encourage plants, invertebrates and birds back to our shores.
- A second seawall keeps out salt water - Before the tides are let back in we take the precaution of strengthening an inner floodwall. This separates even the strongest salt water tides, from freshwater habitats and people’s homes inland.
- Protecting a freshwater oasis inland - Protecting sea walls helps create an oasis of low meadow, reed bed and wetland that many more birds, fish, amphibians and mammals thrive on.
How Crossrail is helping conserve our coastline
This breath-taking time-lapse video shows project partner Crossrail importing clean soils from underneath London to reshape the island and turn vulnerable agricultural land back into sustainable saltmarsh and other wetland habitats for coastal wildlife.
"Our seas are home to an amazing variety of wildlife and some of the most incredible wildlife spectacles. Yet they are fragile and constantly under threat. thank you for helping our Coasts in Crisis Appeal" Martin Harper- Director Global Conservation