The objectives are, through a unique combination of habitat restoration and innovative targeted, seasonal exclusion, monitoring and tracking of predators, to:
- Increase lapwing numbers in the Avon Valley through the novel approach of creating strategic ‘hotspots’ of optimum habitat with reduced predation pressure.
- Increase numbers of lapwing chicks fledged at ‘hotspots’ to the point where breeding densities become sufficient to enable lapwings to better fend off potential predators on their own.
- Halt the decline of redshank in the Avon Valley by increasing productivity.
- Create conditions to encourage snipe to return to breed.
- Using a new approach called ‘Planning for Real’ to deliver sustainable conservation actions.
- Demonstrate how far habitat manipulation can be used to push the balance in favour of waders rather than predators. We will assess predator behaviour in manipulated landscapes.
- Demonstrate the most appropriate techniques for the efficient assessment and exclusion of predators and quantify any benefit or problems associated with predation control.
- Quantify the costs of different techniques for increasing wader breeding success and the timescale over which this translates into higher wader numbers.
- Monitor the effects of restoration for waders on other key elements of floodplain biodiversity, particularly the flora, invertebrates and wintering wildfowl.