COMMUNITY-painted birds are to be installed on a Dorset beach as part of a project to bring important wading birds back to Poole Harbour.

Eight wooden birds painted by local youth groups and schools will be installed across the popular Shell Bay beach at Studland to raise awareness of the struggles faced by wading bird species.

The colourful birds were individually painted during workshops where participants had the opportunity to learn more about a range of special wading birds such as dunlin, sanderling, oystercatcher, ringed and grey plover, and bar-tailed godwit.

Shell Bay used to be an important overwintering habitat for these species, however, with increased visitor numbers and disturbance in recent decades, their numbers here have fallen to almost zero.

Bournemouth Echo: Bird painted by Purbeck Youth and Community CentreBird painted by Purbeck Youth and Community Centre

This autumn, a partnership project between National Trust, Birds of Poole Harbour, the Birds and Recreation Initiative and Dynamic Dunescapes will see the instillation of a 'Wader Protection Area’.

Fencing will be placed in select areas with the aim to protect and restore this once productive and important roost site, and welcome wading birds back.

The painted birds are a way to celebrate the upcoming project while raising awareness about the struggles faced by the birds.

Paul Morton from the Birds of Poole Harbour charity said: “Getting the new wader protection zone installed this autumn is a big step in the right direction in helping conserve these important areas for roosting waders.”

Bournemouth Echo:

Julia Galbenu, dynamic dunescapes engagement officer at National Trust, said: “It’s been really wonderful to involve the local schools and youth groups with this project. Everyone is now buzzing about wading birds, and the hard work and dedication these young artists have put into their arty birds is inspiring.

"It's their landscape, and they want to be part of the restoration and protection of such a special place.”

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