Since its creation in autumn 2013 the Hollesley scrape has enjoyed amazing success! In the following four breeding seasons we have fledged 137 avocet, 100 lapwing and 43 redshank young. Highlights amongst other breeding species have included pintail, yellow wagtail, common gull, ringed and little ringed plovers.

Just up the coast on Havergate Island RSPB reserve we have nationally important numbers of large gulls (lesser black backs and herrings) and manage the island with them in mind. One of the reasons for the creation of the scrape at Hollesley was to have another location for breeding waders to nest free of predation.

Unfortunately numbers of large gulls have also steadily increased on the Hollesley scrape from just 3 pairs in 2014 to 37 pairs in 2017 and they are becoming more of an issue for the nesting waders.

As part of the Suffolk Wader Strategy we are going to dry out the Hollesley scrape for the 2018 breeding season. This is part of the dynamic wetland concept which should keep predators guessing. The fields surrounding the scrape will remain wet (as in the past few years) and in the autumn of 2018 we will re-wet the scrape as normal.

This winter we will be under taking enhancement works at Boyton to increase the available habitat there to compensate for the losses at Hollesley and we expect the waders to relocate and hopefully do well.

Birds are incredibly mobile and as was seen in the first breeding season on the Hollesley scrape birds will very quickly find new habitat so we don’t foresee any long term issues / problems/issues

If you have any questions please or want any more information we would be pleased to chat 01394 450732 / havergate.island@rspb.org.uk

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