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Volunteers needed to help save the avocet
1:22pm Tuesday 19th March 2013 in News
ESSEX Wildlife Trust is appealing for volunteers to help in an operation called Avocet Watch, to protect the striking black and white wading coastal birds from criminals and harm.
Under the Wildlife Countryside Act 1981, it is an offence to take, injure or kill an avocet, or to take, damage or destroy its nest, eggs or young. It is also an offence to disturb the birds at ore close to their nest during the breeding season. Breaking this law can result in a fine of up to £5,000 and/or a prison sentence of up to six months.
Avocets are often targeted by egg thieves. Matthew Gonshaw, from Bow in London, was jailed for six months in December 2011 after stealing 12 avocet eggs from Two Tree Island last year.
Volunteers are needed to fill four time slots each day between April 8 and June 16. Volunteers can fill just one time slot, or as many as they are able.
Louise Morris, Southend Environmental Projects Manager, working in partnership with Essex Wildlife Trust and Southend Borough Council, said:
“Please volunteer; a few hours of your time can help make a difference to the wildlife in Essex.
“This amazing project is a real community effort between Essex Wildlife Trust, Southend Council, Essex Police and the community.
“Most of our volunteers come from Southend and Essex, but some have travelled as far as from county Durham. Protecting the avocets is a great reason to visit this superb nature reserve, as well as potentially very rewarding bird watching, and of vital importance to these wonderful birds.”
For more information, contact Louise at the council on 01702 215602.