'Don't disturb' skylarks nesting at park near Colchester

Skylark (Alauda arvensis) foraging in coastal grassland, Trevose Head, Cornwall.

Skylarks have been seen nesting near Colchester - Credit: National Trust Images/Nick Upton

Multiple breeding pairs of skylarks are currently nesting in the long grass areas at Gosbecks Archaeological Park.

Colchester Borough Council is asking visitors to keep to the mowed paths and large tracks to avoid disturbing the birds, from now until the end of August.

It has also asked dog owners to keep their pets under control and on the lead. 

Skylark population numbers have declined by 50% since the 1990s, according to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds - and these ground-nesting birds are now a protected species. 

The council’s countryside rangers have installed temporary signage around the areas where they are nesting, giving visitors information about these protected birds and what they can do to support a successful breeding season.

These special birds have a beautiful song, according to Colchester Borough Council - which is urging all visitors to the site to do their bit to help make sure it can be heard for many years to come.