Back in 2013, we began working nationally and regionally with nine other partner organisations on a project to identify the reasons for the decline in little tern populations. The successes of this project were brought together at a conference in Norwich at the beginning of November.
The little tern - one of our rarest and smallest breeding seabirds - nests on open sand and shingle beaches around our coast between May and August each year. Across the UK their numbers have declined by almost a fifth since 2000 due to reduced breeding success and the many threats they are exposed to on our beaches.
Threats to the nesting terns include disturbance from recreational visits to the beach, a lack of suitable food in the sea near nesting sites and extreme weather conditions linked to climate change, causing tidal flooding.