Lapwing trial management project, Northern Ireland

A total of 37 farms are involved in the research for this project, spread across all counties.

 Lapwing Vanellus vanellus, amongst grass


The farms involved in this project are split into two groups, the first group are known as ‘experimental’ farms - they are in CMS, receive management advice and undertake work to benefit lapwing such as winter grazing, controlling rush, controlling stocking densities and maintaining and enhancing wet features.
The second group are known as ‘control’ farms - they do not undertake any work which benefit lapwing and are not in the CMS.
Advice on the need for grazing, rush control and stocking densities is given on a one to one basis by the project officer to each of the experimental farmers throughout the year. Training events and advisory materials are provided to help explain management requirements.


Monitoring of the Lapwing Trial Management Project began in 2006. The project is included in the group of five regional and country lapwing trial management projects located throughout the UK. In Northern Ireland the aim of this project is to determine how successful the Countryside Management's Scheme (CMS) option for breeding lapwing is. This agri-environment scheme is administered through the Department of Agriculture and Rural. Development (DARD).

Planned Work

All the farms are monitored closely during the lapwing breeding season (late March to early July). The survey work involves counting numbers of adult lapwing and chicks - assessing habitat conditions and predation levels. Each farm is visited five times and the results are collated and used for analysis to determine which farms benefit lapwing more.


Preliminary results are showing lapwing numbers and productivity have remained higher on CMS farms but a final analysis will be completed in autumn 2010.


  • This project is funded by the RSPB.
  • Support has been provided by the Countryside Management Branch of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.


Coast on a stormy day

Lorna Whiteside

Conservation Officer, Lagan Valley Regional Park

Further reading

Tagged with: Country: Northern Ireland Habitat: Farmland Species: Lapwing Project status: Ongoing Project types: Advocacy