As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Tuesday 21 April 2015

Endangered bird finds sanctuary in Northern Irish prison for dangerous inmates

Around 20 pairs of breeding lapwings have made their home at HMP Maghaberry

By AOL Travel, Apr 20, 2015
Updated: April 20, 2015 7:23 AM

Lapwings, one of the world's most threatened birds, have found a sanctuary within a prison used for housing the most dangerous inmates in Northern Ireland.

Life sentence prisoners helped create the habitat for around 20 pairs of breeding lapwings which have made their home at HMP Maghaberry on a marshy no-man's-land dominated by razor wire and lookouts behind reinforced glass.

The six acres of waste ground lies between the perimeter fence and wall of a jail, near Lisburn in County Antrim, more familiar as a holding centre for dissident republicans, sex offenders and murderers. WORDS: PA. 

A combination of swampy short grass because of the clay ground left over from the prison's foundations and the lack of predators like foxes has created the ideal conditions for breeding chicks, retired prison guard and gardener Denis Smyth said.

He added: "Once they are big enough to fly, over the fence they go."

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