Vital conservation work in Denbighshire has seen the County Council’s Countryside Service lead a session for volunteers to create new nesting shelters for little tern chicks born at Gronant.

The Little Tern is an Amber List species, listed as a Schedule 1 species in The Wildlife and Countryside Act.

The joint event was organised by North Wales Little Tern Group and Nature for Health, with the little tern group funding the materials for building the shelters.

The group of Little Terns at Gronant beach near Prestatyn is the largest breeding colony found in Wales. It is known internationally as it contributes to over 10 percent of the entire UK breeding population as well as supplementing other colonies.

Countryside Service teams have dedicated nearly 20 years to protecting the Gronant colony, and in 2022 a total of 209 fledglings were confirmed, the second highest recorded at Gronant.

Last season saw individuals from the North Wales Little Tern Group, Denbighshire Countryside Services, Merseyside Ringing Group, Bangor University, Prestatyn High and the RSPB also contributing time to volunteer on the project.

Claudia Smith, Denbighshire Countryside Ranger, explained: “These chick shelters will be used during the little tern nesting season, when the birds breed on the shingle at Gronant.

“We will put the shelters next to little tern nests to give the chicks protection from aerial predators. Their main aerial predators are kestrels and peregrine falcons. We plan to make the shelters stackable to make them easy to transport onto site.”

Cllr Barry Mellor, Lead Member for Environment and Transport, said: “Countryside teams and all the volunteers have done a marvellous job in protecting this important wildlife site over the years and I would like to thank all of them for their continuing efforts to support this colony.“

You can learn more about the Little Tern here: Little Tern Bird Facts | Sternula Albifrons – The RSPB