National Trust conservation work is helping birds in Lincolnshire
National Trust places, including those in Lincolnshire, are home to a wide variety of native and visiting birds, and as spring progresses the comings and goings of the birds who look upon the places in our care as home increase. Some leave after their winter refuel but many are returning to breed and enjoy spring and summer with us. But there has been a serious, countrywide decline in the numbers of many birds in recent years, including many well known and loved species such as the song thrush, skylark, lapwing and house sparrow. As the nation’s biggest private landowner, the National Trust wants to play its part in addressing this gradual decline, by creating and restoring ‘priority’ wildlife habitats.
Simon Barker, Wildlife & Countryside Adviser at the National Trust, said: “We’re working hard across the Midlands to create more and better habitats for birds through our conservation projects. Spring is the best time of the year to discover and enjoy birds, with our resident species being joined by a host of summer migrants, all bent on establishing territories and nesting. National Trust places offer a wide range of bird watching experiences, from the house martins, swallows and swifts nesting on buildings, through freshwater, farmland and woodland species on many of our estates, to moorland specialists on the Long Mynd in Shropshire and in the Peak District in Derbyshire.”
At Belton House, the woods, streams and meadows all provide excellent conditions for various species to thrive, and visitors are likely to spot red kites, ravens and buzzards – perhaps even a fleeting glimpse of a kingfisher, as they are known to nest along the River Witham here. There are a couple of nesting pairs, each of which can produce several broods a year, and parents can be seen on regular hunting expeditions along the river, or even teaching their fledglings to fly. Belton is home to other fascinating species like nuthatch, treecreepers, goldcrest and both green and greater spotted woodpecker – often heard before they are seen at this time of year.
Spring is a time of rapid change and activity for birds, and there are things you can do to help, from building nest boxes to providing food and fresh water in your garden. It’s also a great time of year to get out to your local National Trust place and see what you can spot. You can download a bird spotter’s guide from our website to record what you’ve seen (https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/documents/bird-spotters-guide.pdf).