North Kent Marshes breeding wader project

The North Kent Marshes are one of the most important areas in south-east England for breeding waders. In recent years, the RSPB has achieved great results for lapwing productivity on its reserves in the area, but there is still great potential across the wider landscape.

Lapwing Vanellus vanellus, adult, female in breeding habitat pasture, Northumberland


Working in conjunction with farmers and Natural England, the North Kent Marshes Breeding Wader Project aims to provide help and advice to ensure these areas are delivering in terms of breeding wader productivity.
Annual farm surveys across key sites will track the fortunes of key species such as lapwing and redshank, and follow-up advice for farmers and landowners will identify practical measures to improve the management of wet grassland for breeding waders.


  • An increase from 146 breeding lapwing pairs on nature reserves in North Kent in 2012 to 200 pairs by 2020.
  • A lapwing productivity ratio of at least 0.7 chicks per pair across the project area by 2020.
  • Performing HLS agreements are transferred to Countryside Stewardship at the end of their 10-year cycle.
  • If you farm in the North Kent Marshes and would like to take part in the project, please contact Bruce Fowkes at


  • Breeding wader and productivity surveys conducted in 2015.
  • Follow-up advice, based on the survey results, in autumn 2015.

Planned Work

Annual surveys will be undertaken on participating holdings. The results of these surveys will be used to track success and to inform on-going wet grassland management advice.



Coast on a stormy day

Bruce Fowkes

Conservation Adviser, RSPB
Tagged with: Country: England Habitat: Farmland Habitat: Grassland Habitat: Heathland Habitat: Upland Habitat: Wetland Habitat: Woodland Project status: Ongoing Project types: Advocacy