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Wildfowl

Barnacle Geese - © SNH For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on 01738 444777 or at www.snh.gov.ukThis area is internationally renowned for the staggering numbers of wildfowl and waders who make it their home at different times of the year.  Most spectacular is the arrival - and departure of tens of thousands of barnacle geese. These 'Svalbard' geese return to the Solway Firth each year from their Norwegian islands in the Arctic Ocean, to feed on the mudflats and roost on the saltmarsh - or Merse.  Due to successful conservation, the number of geese that arrive each year is now over 20,000. It's therefore a constant challenge to manage the habitat in a way that continues to promote the ethos of the Estate's conversation policy. In summer, cattle are grazed on the merse to ensure the short grass sward that geese and other wildfowl prefer. Keeping the sward fit for grazing geese also encourages them to stay where visitors can see them, and helps relieve pressure on the surrounding farmland, where the geese might otherwise feed on developing winter cereal crops. 

Visit www.wwt.org.uk/caerlaverock for more information.

*No dogs admitted to centre

 


Barnacle Geese - © SNH For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on 01738 444777 or at www.snh.gov.uk