[ exact phrase in "" • results by date ]

[ Google-powered • results by relevance ]


Add NWW headlines to your site (click here)

when your community is targeted

Get weekly updates

RSS feeds and more

Keep Wind Watch online and independent!

Donate via Stripe

Donate via Paypal

Selected Documents

All Documents

Research Links


Press Releases


Campaign Material

Photos & Graphics


Allied Groups

Wind Watch is a registered educational charity, founded in 2005.

News Watch Home

Alarming 99% decline in gulls raises questions over expanding wind farms 

Credit:  6/5/2022, Jason Endfield, jasonendfield.weebly.com ~~

* Shocking 99% decline in Lesser Black-backed gulls at Suffolk coastal site

* The amber-listed gull is especially vulnerable to collision with offshore wind turbines

* Plans to further expand industrial wind projects in the area could prove disastrous for birds

A shocking 99% decline in the population of Lesser Black-backed gulls raises serious questions over the impact of industrial wind farm development in the North Sea.

Huge wind farms nearby …

The alarming reduction in the numbers of breeding birds at Suffolk’s Orford Ness coastal reserve has been noticed over several years, and so is probably the result of many contributing factors – but we cannot ignore the fact that two vast areas of wind turbines lie just off the coast.

Massive industrial wind turbines have been operating in the vicinity since the Greater Gabbard wind farm was completed back in 2012, joined by the Galloper wind farm’s array of 56 huge turbines in 2018.

With plans announced for even more industrial wind development in the area, the seas off the Suffolk coast could soon prove to be deadly for many species.

“Not clear” why numbers dropped so dramatically

The National Trust which manages the Orford Ness reserve told the East Anglian Daily Times that “In recent years we’ve seen [LBB Gull] numbers dwindle even further, which means we need to do more to protect them.”

They said that “it’s not clear why numbers dropped so dramatically”, pointing out that disturbance from visitors to the site is ‘almost certainly’ one cause.

Species especially vulnerable to turbine collisions

It has been well established that Lesser Black-backed gulls are especially vulnerable to collision with wind turbines. A 2019 study by the BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) used GPS tracking to show that the species is particularly at risk from turbine blades during migration and in winter months.

Key data ‘ignored’ in some planning assessments

A recent study by the Zoological Society of London, focusing on wind farm development off the Welsh coast, pointed out the UK has some of the best seabird monitoring anywhere in the world, but lamented that “key data is being ignored during offshore windfarm planning assessments.”

Project to protect remaining birds … funded by wind farm

Now, as the local Orford Ness LBB gull population has dwindled to just 210 breeding pairs, a project has finally been initiated, aimed at protecting the remaining birds.

Two ‘gull officers’ have been appointed to monitor the site and ‘raise awareness’ among the local community in an attempt to limit human encroachment on the gulls’ territory.

The cynical among us might feel uncomfortable that these ‘gull officer’ positions have been funded by … the Galloper Offshore Wind Farm.

It seems a little ironic that the wind industry is financing the project, rather than the National Trust which manages the site.

Catastrophic threat to sea birds

Raising awareness of the gulls’ decline is welcome, but I fear that the project is a drop in the ocean and will do little to protect the gulls from the obvious and potentially catastrophic threat lurking offshore.

With the frenzied expansion of the wind industry in Britain’s seas, we must acknowledge that the tragic decline in seabirds might not be caused solely by local environmental effects – but also by direct impact, quite literally, from the huge wind turbines that continue to proliferate around our coasts.

A two year bird survey programme, carried out as part of Galloper Wind Farm’s marine licence obligations, will conclude in June 2022 and report to the Government’s Marine Management Organisation.

I don’t know if the results of these surveys will be made public, but if so then it will be interesting to see how the wind farm has affected bird populations since its operations began.

Meanwhile we can only hope that the Orford Ness gull project will not only raise local awareness, but also highlight the real plight of birds being decimated at sea by the expanding presence of the offshore wind industry.

Source:  6/5/2022, Jason Endfield, jasonendfield.weebly.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Contributions
   Donate via Stripe
(via Stripe)
Donate via Paypal
(via Paypal)


e-mail X FB LI M TG TS G Share

News Watch Home

Get the Facts
© National Wind Watch, Inc.
Use of copyrighted material adheres to Fair Use.
"Wind Watch" is a registered trademark.


Wind Watch on X Wind Watch on Facebook Wind Watch on Linked In

Wind Watch on Mastodon Wind Watch on Truth Social

Wind Watch on Gab Wind Watch on Bluesky