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WILDLIFE FRIENDLY WATERSPORTS

WILDLIFE FRIENDLY WATERSPORTS

We all love being outdoors for different reasons but most will agree that nature is a big part of why we love our outdoor adventures. With increasing numbers of people getting out on the water and exploring remote areas, we need to make sure there is space for nature to thrive alongside us.

PADDLERS MAP

The Poole Habour paddle power map is a resource put together by conservation charities and watersports reps and is your guide to paddling Poole Harbour in a wildlife friendly way!
DOWNLOAD PADDLER MAP

TOP TIPS FOR PADDLERS

Adventurous paddlers exploring all over the harbour are now accessing areas previously unexplored by people and our birds are feeling the impact of this. Birds see humans as predators even when we are quietly exploring, so its vital to pay attention and make sure you’re not responsible for major flushing and stressing the birds out.

MAKE A DIFFERENCE FROM A DISTANCE

Look out for birds when setting up your watersports vessel and find a bird-free area to launch and land your from. There are various launch and landing sites around to choose from.

DON’T FIGHT THE TIDE

Save energy by going when the tide is ‘slack’, an hour either side of high tide is easiest. You’ll also be avoiding the feeding times of birds meaning they can eat in stress free..

SHHH…

Keep noise to a minimum and if you see signs of wildlife disturbance move away and choose an alternative route.

OFF WE GO

Keep to designated launch and landing sites to protect both your kit and sensitive habitats.

WHAT IS DISTURBANCE
AND WHY DOES IT MATTER?

What is disturbance?

  • Any human activity that influences a bird’s behaviour and ultimately its survival
  • Birds become aware of your presence and move away or become more alert
  • They flush (fly away suddenly) the ultimate disturbance!

Why does it matter?

  • As Poole Harbour becomes busier the birds become more alert more often and this burns up calories
  • Moving or flying away costs the birds vital energy that takes a long time to replace
  • Short daylight feeding hours in the winter mean the birds have limited time to feed, especially if low tide clashes with nightfall
  • Many species have long migration journeys so need to build up energy stores to survive the flight

How do I know when birds are being disturbed?

  • Birds will call louder to each other when they feel threatened, as an alert!
  • They will move away from you by walking or swimming to keep a safe distance.
  • They will fly away (flushing) using vital energy reserves that take a long time to replace.

Why do birds need your help?

  • Many species make long migrations to spend winter in Poole Harbour. Once here they need to feed and build up their strength.
  • Harbour birds eat when the tide is low, and the mud and sand is exposed as this is where their food is.
  • This means they have a very limited time to eat. If they are disturbed regularly, they can’t eat enough in one day.
  • As Poole Harbour becomes busier its harder for birds to feed and rest without being disturbed by people.

TO BOOK A FREE WILDLIFE FRIENDLY SESSION EMAIL 

HELLO@BIRDSOFBARI.ORG.UK