Ayrshire farmland wader project

This project is part of the Wader Friendly Farming Initiative, set up to encourage the uptake of management techniques to help waders on farmland across Scotland.

Curlew Numenius arquata, bathing in shallow pool, Geltsdale RSPB reserve, Cumbria, England


The annual Breeding Bird Survey shows continuing declines in farmland wading birds in Scotland. This project is one of several across the country aiming to assist the targeting of agri-environment spend on areas with high densities of breeding birds, to stem these declines. 
Getting targeted conservation management occurring on landscapes known to host high densities of breeding waders is essential if we are to safeguard local populations. 


  • To help stem local declines in breeding waders such as lapwing and curlew, by encouraging and supporting local farmers to undertake management through the SRDP.
  • To develop a partnership approach to landscape-scale conservation between conservation organisations and the agricultural community, building on successful local projects such as the Coalfields Environment Initiative.
  • To raise awareness of the declines in farmland waders and management which would benefit them.

Planned Work

Further survey work planned for 2012 and 4-5 Rural Priorities applications are being submitted.


Site visits have been undertaken to assess suitable wader habitats on 8 farms/estates.
Farmer workshop hosted to highlight importance of appropriate rush management in optimising wader habitat.


Coast on a stormy day

Daniel Brown

Conservation Adviser, RSPB

Tagged with: Country: Scotland Habitat: Farmland Habitat: Grassland Habitat: Upland Habitat: Wetland Project status: Ongoing Project types: Farming Project types: Species protection