Dog walkers invited to guided Wanstead Flats walks to protect endangered skylarks

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Dog-walkers invited to guided walks to protect endangered birds Dog-walkers invited to guided walks to protect endangered birds

Dog owners are being invited to a guided walk around a park to find out how they can protect an endangered species of bird.

The Wren Wildlife and Conservation Group is worried the breeding season of Skylarks and Meadow Pipits will be disturbed this month, as they lay their eggs in the long grass of Wanstead Flats.

Walks will be held on March 15 and 29, leaving from the Centre Road car park at 10am, where members of the Wren Wildlife Group will point out their breeding grounds.

Tim Harris, chairman of the Wren Group, said: "The big problem both species face is disturbance during the breeding season.

"It’s not a problem if people walk, jog, ride their bikes or walk their dogs on the areas of shorter grass or along the main tracks through the long grass. Problems arise, however, when they do these things in the long grass. That can cause the larks to abandon their attempts to breed."

The flats have the largest number of Skylarks in London but their population has fallen by two-thirds since the 1970s.

With a life expectancy of just two years on average, breeding is of paramount importance to the survival of the species.
 

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