· A platform which floats above the waters surface.
· A shingle/gravel substrate upon the top of the raft in which terns can form ‘scrapes’ (nest bowls).
· A perimeter barrier preventing young chicks from ‘falling overboard’ until they’re old enough to be able to get back on as well as preventing predators from accessing the raft.
· A method of immobilising the structure to prevent it from floating away.
The design is based on the raft development carried out at other sites and has been put together in four sections by a local carpenter. The top is covered in shingle substrate and the perimeter is enclosed with a steel mesh allowing visitors to see in whilst preventing young chicks from falling off when darting for cover or food from their parents. Once completed, we'll be watching it carefully over the summer to see how much it's used and (hopefully) how successful it is! Even in the eventuality that it's not successful this year, the raft has been designed and constructed in such a way that it can be reconfigured into 2 or 4 separate smaller rafts, giving us the option of trying it in a new location next year or even several. With this now available, we're hoping to be able to offer good quality tern habitat in suitable locations in an efficient manner whilst we continue to look at longer term strategies for securing their future.
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