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Bumper breeding season for little terns and Record-breaking public support for using the tax system to reduce single-use plastics

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Bumper breeding season for little terns

Photo credit: K. Simmons

The breeding success of the UK’s second rarest shorebird has been covered by The Northumberland Gazette and the Berwick Advertiser.

17 juvenile little terns joined the population at Natural England’s Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve this season, the only fledglings between Aberdeen and Norfolk.

Little terns have seen declines in their breeding population in the UK, with a major factor being human and dog disturbance. The small birds migrate to Northumberland from West Africa each year to breed.

Natural England rangers this year monitored five nesting sites, with protections for the nests including erecting fences along a 100 metre stretch of beach.

Annie Ivison, Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve manager said: 

During seasons when little or no success is realised, those who have endeavoured to support the birds are left feeling deflated; yet every year they begin again with renewed hope.

Happily this season the efforts of reserve staff and volunteers, and the co-operation of walkers, have enabled these birds a small window of space and time to court, lay eggs, and rear chicks and fledglings.

Natural England works to ensure that the birds and plants of Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve continue to survive in harmony with each other and the people who live in and visit the area.

Record-breaking public support for using the tax system to reduce single-use plastics

There was widespread coverage on Saturday 18th of HM Treasury’s consultation on using the tax system to reduce single-use plastics and boost recycling. The consultation attracted over 160,000 responses – a record for the department.

The announcement attracted a front page splash in the Daily Mail, with further coverage in The Times, Telegraph, The Guardian, Express, Sun, Sky News BBC Breakfast and BBC Radio 4 Today. It was widely welcomed by groups including Surfers Against Sewerage and Marine Conservation Society.

Measures which received noteworthy public support and are being considered include using the tax system to:

  • encourage greater use of recycled plastic in manufacturing rather than new plastic
  • discourage the use of difficult to recycle plastics, like carbon black plastic
  • reduce demand for single-use plastics like coffee-cups and takeaway boxes
  • encourage further recycling as opposed to incineration

The views received will help inform and shape the government’s approach ahead of this year’s Budget.

This work forms part of the government’s overall commitment in its 25 Year Environment Plan to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste.

The UK continues to be a global leader in protecting our seas, oceans and marine life. The Government has recently announced a range of measures to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste including a world-leading ban on microbeads, proposals to extend the 5p plastic bag charge, its intention to ban the sale of plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds, and plans for a deposit return scheme to increase recycling rates of drinks bottles and cans.

The Government will be setting out further reforms to tackle single-use plastics and increase recycling rates further in its forthcoming Resources and Waste Strategy later this year.

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