Friday, 13 April 2018

Working for Waders – Together we can help reverse their declines

Our waders are returning to hills, glens and farmlands with their charismatic calls and distinctive flight patterns and silhouettes. Their numbers are still in worrying decline but together we can work to improve their future.

Partners in Working for Waders are collaborating on several actions which they hope to deliver this year, including:

·       Develop a trial management project for waders;
·       Scope a Facilitation Fund to provide on-the-ground support and guidance;
·       Develop Best Practice Guidance for wader management;
·       Map wader ‘hot spots’ and ‘cooling spots’;
·       Develop guidance on wader monitoring methods;
·       Hold an autumn Working for Waders conference and/or later parliamentary reception.

If you have other ideas or wish to be involved we would be delighted to hear from you. The groups are all flexible and new members (whether short-term or longer-term) will be welcomed at any time.  

Funding is being sought from a range of sources including a Working for Waders Challenge Fund which is being developed to support work in this coming year.

We also have a Working for Waders map which helps to show the breadth and depth of wader activity across Scotland. This is a great way of showing people at a glance what is happening. We are aware there is a lot more going on than is shown on the map at the moment. We would be grateful if you could let us know details of work you are involved with helping waders to add to the map via this simple form.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Working for Waders – Action Groups Meet!

The Working for Waders Action Groups have met for the first time. Volunteers from a range of backgrounds came together to start to put flesh on the ideas generated to date on how to reverse the declines in our waders.

The groups are focusing on:
  • collaborative action on the ground
  • gathering information
  • raising awareness and developing best practice
The groups are formed of willing volunteers and are open to anyone with an interest in and experience of waders.

A summary of actions proposed for delivery this year and beyond will be added to this blog soon.

To find out more about Working for Waders and how to join in please contact the project administrator.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Working for Waders: A Call for Volunteers

Populations of wading birds like curlew, lapwing and oystercatcher have declined markedly across Scotland: since 1994, curlew have declined by 61%, lapwing by 53% and oystercatcher by 40%.

Two workshops, held earlier in 2017, (the overview report is available here) highlighted that there was wide consensus on the need to halt and, where possible, reverse these declines.

The Working for Waders Initiative has been established to bring people together to encourage new ways of thinking and working, especially through the development of collaborative activities and actions on the ground.

What is the Initiative trying to do?

Over this winter, we are focussing on two main goals:

  • To identify and highlight where actions for waders are already being taken on the ground.
  • To flesh-out what needs to be done in practice to take forward three key actions identified by participants at the wader workshops.

To achieve these goals we need the support and engagement of all those concerned about wader declines in Scotland.

We know that management to help protect waders is already being established at a local level across Scotland. We want to map where these actions are taking place, not only to help emphasise that there already is active management taking place on the ground, but also to help form a context and framework around which additional actions can be built.

We already have brief details of where some actions are taking place (the map as it currently stands is available here) and we thank those groups who have already submitted those details. But we know that there are others out there. So if you are involved in any local level actions for waders that we have not already been told about then please complete and return the simple form that is available here.

The workshops, held earlier this year, also identified the need for three key actions to help address wader declines:

  • Delivering results-led collaborative action on the ground.
  • Collating data and identifying hot spots and zones for waders.
  • Raising awareness of the plight of waders and developing and sharing best practice to reverse these declines.

There is, however, a need to flesh-out how each of these key actions can actually be achieved in practice and an overview of what is expected from each Action Group is available here. So we are looking for volunteers to join these Action Groups and help - over the next few months - to develop recommendations as to how each action can be delivered, including who should be involved and the resources and commitments needed.

We envisage that each Action Group will have a convenor, or ideally two co-convenors, who will take the lead in driving the work of each group forward. The current Facilitation Team will be expanded to include the co-convenors of each Action Group so that collectively we can ensure that the process remains as inclusive and cross-sectoral as possible.

Please put your name forward using this contact form and indicate which of the three groups you want to contribute to.

Please use the comment facility below to provide any feedback about the way this initiative is developing.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Get involved with Working for Waders

Working for Waders is looking for your help. People, with experience, knowledge and some time are needed to identify practical steps to reverse the decline of waders.

We have all agreed that urgent action is required to save the curlew, the lapwing, the golden plover and the other waders whose numbers are dropping. Now is the time to take action.

You can get involved by joining one of the following three Action Groups:
  • Delivering results-led collaborative action on the ground;
  • Collating data and identifying hot spots and zones for waders; and
  • Raising awareness of the plight of waders and developing and sharing best practice to reverse these declines.
Briefs have been drawn up for each of these Action Groups, giving some outline details on the purpose of each group. Access the briefs here. These briefs have been developed from the ideas raised during the stakeholder workshops held earlier this year. Please help to put these into practice.

Please put your name forward using this contact form by Wednesday, 25th October, if you would like to join one of these Action Groups.

An interactive map showing all the existing actions and projects contributing to Working for Waders will be available shortly. Many thanks to all who have submitted details on their work, but please let us know if you are involved with wader recovery work but have not yet told us what you are up to. These local projects are a vital part of Working for Waders and will form a core to build out from.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Working for Waders - September Update

Thank you to everybody who has given their time, energy and thoughts to help develop ideas for Working for Waders. The next steps are set out below.

How can you get involved?
Groups of interested people are needed to take forward the themes and ideas identified during the two workshops held in May 2017 to turn these into actions. Volunteers will be sought soon.

The provisional titles for the three Action Groups are:

1. Collecting and sharing information on wader populations for zoning and targeted management;

2. Raising awareness and sharing best practice on waders;

3. Halting the decline of waders at the landscape scale: developing a collaborative partnership to achieve outcome based management.

Summaries of each Action Group will be circulated at the end of September with a request for volunteers to join. In addition, guidance will be available from SNH licensing on licensing principles and requirements to support Working for Waders and proposals arising from it. A Co-ordination Group will be convened to oversee the establishment of the Action Groups.

In the meantime, if you have any questions or would like any further information please let us know by commenting on this blog or by getting in touch using this contact form.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Working for Waders - Update

This initiative, which is being supported by Scotland’s Moorland Forum, has been established to develop the concepts established during the Understanding Predation project that was completed in May 2016.

The aim is to establish a programme of action that will enhance the work that is already taking place for waders, and encourage the development of new initiatives. The scope of the programme of action may include providing advice about practical management techniques for waders, establishing a common monitoring protocol, so that the results obtained will be comparable, and providing access to the latest research.

Stakeholders are developing the programme of action, and facilitation is being provided by a consortium of organisations that includes: BTO, SNH, SRUC, JHI and Scotland’s Moorland Forum.


To promote an understanding of this initiative and collect views about the concept, two workshops were held during May. A broad range of delegates attended and a summary report from the workshops will be available shortly.

The workshops have confirmed there is a consensus developing around the form that this initiative should take. A third workshop in July was considered, but as there is already a clear consensus, this additional workshop would serve little purpose. The intention is to use the time to develop the details of the programme of action and to consider holding a further meeting or workshop, later in the year.

Scottish Government
To ensure that there is support for this initiative in government, the summary report from the workshops will be sent under a covering letter to Roseanna Cunningham MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change & Land Reform. This letter will be copied to a wide range of organisations, and the feedback to the letter will be used to further develop the programme of action.

Information about Wader Initiatives
To be effective, the programme of action should be linked to all the initiatives that are already in progress or planned. A form has been circulated to gather details of such initiatives and this is available to download. Anyone who is already ‘Working for Waders’, or who is planning an initiative with a focus on waders, is asked to use this form to provide the programme of action with details of the work.

Further updates will be added to this blog as the programme of action develops. Any comments will be welcome, and you can use the comments facility below to submit these. If you wish to submit your comments in private, please use the Contact Form on the Moorland Forum’s website.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Working for Waders - Introduction

© John Harding / BTO images
Working for Waders

This is an initiative to bring people together to address the decline of breeding waders in Scotland. It follows on from the Understanding Predation project and will build on the principles of collaboration and co-production established by that project.

Understanding Predation combined local knowledge with scientific evidence to develop a shared understanding of predator-prey interactions. Much consensus emerged from this process, the strongest of which concerned the need to work together to address the decline of waders through a combination of habitat and predator management. 

Development of the programme of action is developing fast and further information will be added to the blog when it becomes available.

Why do we need to focus on Waders?

Waders like curlew, lapwing and oyster catcher have suffered from substantial population declines in recent years (curlew down 61% since 1994, lapwing down 53% and oystercatcher down 40%). Those who work and use land in Scotland recognise the need to address these declines. The Understanding Predation report identified that the most important influences affecting waders were habitat, predation and interactions between these.


Comments on the posts on this blog or on other related topics are encouraged.  Please use the comment facility at the bottom of each post.