Curlews, a species of wading bird, which has become one of the UK’s most important conservation priorities, have been making good use of mitigation land created by Associated British Ports (ABP) in Grimsby.
The Curlew breeding population has been declining in the UK for many years. Globally their breeding ground productivity has also been in decline, meaning their IUCN Red List status, a critical indicator of the health of the world’s biodiversity, is ‘near threatened’. The decline is thought to be a result of breeding habitat loss, predation, climate change, and a combination of these issues.
The five hectare site was completed in 2020. It was required as part of the planning permission for the Grimsby Automotive Terminal, which is on the site of the former Huntsman Tioxide factory works.
Ecologists have reported excellent numbers of wading birds using the site. On a recent count, 225 Curlews, 153 Redshanks and 13 Dunlins were recorded. The area provides many benefits to waders, which feed on invertebrates within the mud and roost during high water periods, reducing the need to fly longer distances, saving valuable energy.