Watch the birdie - summer’s on the way!

Joseph Bulmer

Annual bird migration under way at Northam Burrows

IT’S official – summer’s here! That’s according to Northam Burrows head ranger Shawn Corin who has already spotted wheatears and sparrows in the popular country park.

Migrating to the warmer climes of North Africa for the winter, both wheatears and sparrows make the arduous trip back here for our summer.

Shawn said: “Because it is common land, the Burrows has not been subjected to the normal development and intensive use of other similar seaside dune systems. This gives a greater range to the diversity of the plants and animals that can be found here, and it’s that which attracts so many summer birds each year and wading birds in winter.”

But Shawn warned that this time of year also brings with it its own problems due to the lambing season and the issue of dogs being let off their leads.

“Although we know that by far and away the majority of dog owners enjoy the freedom of the Burrows with their pets with no problems at all, Torridge District Council, the police and local youth group Seize the Moment have erected new signs during the winter reminding irresponsible dog owners that they can and will be prosecuted for sheep worrying,” he said.

“I urge people to please be aware of the lambs and keep their dogs under control.”

Although the park is open all year round, the Northam Burrows Visitor Centre officially opens for the season on May 18.

Bookings for school trips with park rangers to learn about the diversity of the country park, its plants, fauna and animals are now being taken for the summer term.

School wanting to book a trip can call the centre on (01237) 479708.