Glen Dochart is one of the best places in the National Park to see farmland wading birds including curlew, lapwing, oystercatcher, redshank and snipe. The National Park Authority is working with four farm and estate businesses in a 350 hectare area west of Killin to make sure that land management activities improve breeding conditions for these birds.
|Oystercatcher||Redshank (© Laurie Campbell)|
|Curlew||Lapwing (© Lorne Gill, SNH)|
Assisted by the Park Authority, the land managers secured a grant of £192k from the Scottish Government’s Scottish Rural Development Programme. This has enabled them to alter their timing and methods of mowing and grazing the floodplain grasslands and wetlands where the farmland waders nest and bring up their chicks over spring and early summer. Large areas formerly dominated by dense growth of rushes have been opened up by rush-cutting, increasing the amount of damp grassland available for these birds to feed in with their specially adapted beaks. With funding from our Natural Heritage Grant Scheme, water levels in these fields have also been managed for the benefit of birds too, by fitting sluices and widening out man-made ditches, and creating shallow muddy puddles known as ‘wader scrapes’.
As a result of their efforts, land managers involved in the Glen Dochart Waders Project have seen an 86% increase in the population of breeding waders between 2010 and 2015.