A series of recent incidents involving photographers encroaching into the heather at the National Trust’s Dunwich Heath, near Southwold, to obtain close-up images of Dartford warblers has prompted the trust to take action.
The species is often elusive and difficult to observe and enjoys the top level of legal protection afforded by the Wildlife and Countryside Act. It is on the act’s Schedule 1 and is highly sensitive to disturbance.
Despite it being the breeding season, trust staff say some photographers had recently been seen well away from the heath’s many paths, far too close to nest sites and even trying to lure the warblers on to the heather tops by playing recordings of the species’ song, a highly controversial practice known as tape-luring.
The trust staff have produced a leaflet for photographers and birdwatchers which urges them to adhere to a code of responsible, law-abiding behaviour.