Wetlands work expected to bring in the birds

WADING birds will be flocking to the Yorkshire coast as a major scheme gets under way over the next few months to restore thewetland landscape.

Excavation work has started on several farms in the Seamer and Potter Brompton area, near Scarborough, with diggers moving on to sites at Flotmanby, Flixton, Folktonand Staxton through September to October.

The aim is to create feeding areas for wading birds and structures to control ditch water level. Funding is coming from the Higher Level Stewardship agreements which reward farmers and landowners who create habitats that encourage wildlife to flourish.

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Scarborough Council has teamed up with Natural England, the Environment Agency, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and North Yorkshire County Council for the scheme.

Great care has been taken regarding local archaeology due to the historical significance ofStar Carr land, where Britain's oldest house was recently unearthed.

Farmer Andrew Wrigley, of Potter Brompton Farms Ltd, said: "Working with the Wetland Project, the RSPB and local birders has allowed us to see how farming and wildlife conservation can not just co-exist, but also flourish alongside each other.

"We feel we are making a real difference to the wildlife habitats on the land we farm, but ultimately the birds will vote with their feet, so fingers crossed that next spring we will see a bumper crop of wader chicks."

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Scarborough Council Wetland Project Officer Tim Burkinshaw said: "Excavatorswill becreating shallow scrapes in grassland fields which will hold some water for part of the year to improve habitats for waderswhich feed their chicks in the shallows and muddy shoreline and to make the area a magnet for wading birds.

"Archaeologists are observing all excavation work to record anything which may be uncovered and advise on the best course of action should an important find be made. We've taken great care to locate the scrapes away from any historical sites we know of already."

Finds have previously been made in areas that were once islands in the Stone Age.