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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 May, 2005, 12:20 GMT 13:20 UK
Protective fence for tern colony
Posts go in to protect the terns
The posts go up to help protect the colony
A team of volunteers has worked flat out to build a protective fence around an endangered sea bird colony where no chicks were produced last year.

The colony is at North Denes, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, on land between the port and the sea.

It is one of the country's largest colonies of breeding little terns.

RSPB volunteers and Norwich Union staff have built 3.5km of electric fencing to keep out intruders after vandals almost destroyed the site three years ago.

Little tern
The little tern is one of Britain's rarest sea birds

About 200 breeding pairs of little terns are expected to arrive from West Africa over the next week.

Attacks by animals and vandals have destroyed the previous fence and disrupted the colony.

Some birds have moved and successfully bred at Winterton further north on the Norfolk coast in previous years.

Keeping out both people and animals is now vital to the survival of the colony so wardens will be keeping a close eye on the breeding grounds with regular patrols.

The little terns' breeding failure last year is partly blamed on a shortage of food but the effects of animals and people also played some part.

Vanishing terns baffles experts
29 May 03 |  Norfolk
Vandals wreck little tern colony
06 Jun 02 |  England


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