Camping out to protect the little tern bird
Long Nanny tern colony
The Long Nanny tern colony on the Northumberland coast is home to one of the rarest seabirds in the UK – the little tern. Only around 1,500 breeding pairs return to this country from West Africa each year. Between May and July.
Every year, a dedicated team of just five National Trust Rangers live at the site in tents, and undertake a 24-hour watch against disturbance to the site from predators, such as stoats and foxes, and, sometimes, from people.
We also monitor the breeding success of the colony, which is also home to over 2,000 pairs of Arctic terns, and welcome visitors to the site on a daily basis, showing them the birds through telescopes and talking to them about its ecology and the importance of the Trust’s work here.
The conservation work being done by the Trust since 1977 to protect these seabirds is part of a wider partnership between the RSPB, Northumberland AONB, National Trust and Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve, and is supported by EU LIFE+. The site is also funded by the Neptune Coastline Campaign.