Wednesday, August 29, 2012 Litter
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 |
Thriving Outhead biodiversity one year on
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Biodiversity at Outhead on the northern tip of West Sands has been thriving since changes in the area’s maintenance system over one year ago as birds, spiders, hares and plants have all been recorded in higher numbers this year.
In November 2010, Fife Council closed Outhead, co-managed by FCCT, to vehicle traffic, reduced the grass cutting regime to just twice a year and ended the mechanical cleaning of West Sands beach, which saw the entire top layer of the beach scraped away.
Each of these moves has had hugely beneficial knock on effects on the plant and wildlife at Outhead by allowing them to flourish relatively undisturbed.
The reduction of grass cutting has allowed ground nesting birds to return to the area with the safety of more cover for their nests. 2011 breeding surveys have recorded the extraordinary return of fledging Wheaters at Outhead for the first time since 2004, with pairs of Skylarks more than trebling to 17 and Meadow Pipits nearly doubling to 14 from last year’s survey figures.
Four spot orb weaver spiders and brown hares have also been spotted at the site with a vast array of wildflowers and other flora growing in abundance.
Ringed Plover birds, who love Fife’s soft sandy beaches, have also been recorded breeding at Outhead for the first time since 2005 thanks to the end of mechanical cleaning that used to result in the destruction of their nests in the sand.
Ranald Strachan, FCCT Ranger, commented: “The positive impact the new environmental management changes on Outhead’s biodiversity has been great to watch over the past year.
“The site is hardly recognisable as the plants and animals have really brought it to life and made it their home. The return of the Wheaters and Ringed Plover birds is especially poignant and just goes to show how sometimes the small things make a big difference.”