Tata Steel Suports Renovation of Seabird Nesting Site in Wales
The UK’s largest steelmaker Tata Steel is giving time and material to help renovate safe nesting sites for the common tern at its site in Shotton in North Wales. The Tata Steel Nature Reserve is home to one of the UK’s biggest common tern colonies and today 130 tonnes of shingle was moved from the shore on to the nesting islands by helicopter. The project, funded by Welsh Government, will safeguard the colony for years to come. Tata Steel apprentices have given their time to help clear the nesting islands and spread the newly dropped shingle, while the company has also donated steel which has been processed and used as a base for the stone.
The former British Steel company created the first safe nesting area for the common terns of the Dee Estuary in 1970 with the construction of a small raft on the cooling lagoons for the blast furnaces. It was an immediate success: 12 pairs nested and 17 chicks fledged. Since then more than 20,000 common tern chicks have hatched and flown from the Site of Special Scientific Interest.
Common terns are long-lived birds, often surviving for more than 20 years. With their normal wintering grounds on the West coast of Africa it means they can fly more than 250,000km in a lifetime, the equivalent of six times round the earth.