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Protecting the willow tit

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CENSUS is being rolled out in the region to protect one of the UK’s fastest declining birds, the willow tit.

A The scheme will be based in the Galloway Glens, one of the willow tit’s strongholds and will feed into a national survey.

Experts say that one of the reasons it is in decline is due to changes in its short lived habitat of wet woodland. Andrew Bielinski, area manager for RSPB Dumfries and Galloway, said: “RSPB Scotland has been managing woodland areas for willow tits on our reserve at the Ken-Dee Marshes for many years, especially around the northern part of the reserve at Kenmure Holms near New Galloway. We have installed special nest boxes for the birds and are also managing areas to create and maintain the younger woodland that the birds prefer.

“We are very lucky to be near one of the last thriving areas for this rare bird in Scotland – do head out to the Kenmure Holms to learn more about them and maybe even see one.”

And Nick Chisholm, Galloway Glens project officer, added: “The willow tit is emblematic of the biodiversity loss that we are experiencing in this country. It is testament to the energy of the RSPB that they are not quietly watching the second fastest decline of any British bird without acting. At Galloway Glens we are proud to support this important project and hope that many others get involved in the census.”

Meanwhile, the RSPB’s national willow tit survey will run from mid-February to mid-April, during the pre-breeding season.

Anyone wishing to take part should email simon.wotton@rspb.org.uk or call 01767 693396.

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