Dunston Staithes

Durham Wildlife Services was commissioned by Mr Martin Hulse on behalf of Tyne and Wear Building Preservation Trust in June 2013 to provide an Ecological Enhancement and Management Plan of Dunston Staiths and associated land, Gateshead.

The plan was required to support a Heritage Lottery application for the restoration of the Staiths and improving access to them and the surrounding area alongside carrying out wildlife enhancements.

 The site is located approximately 2.2km from Gateshead town centre and 2km east of Gateshead Metro Centre. A housing scheme is currently underway immediately adjacent to the site. The survey area itself consists of a mosaic of habitats including semiimproved grassland, plantation woodland, scrub, saltmarsh and reedbed. The River Team runs along the west of the site and then joins the River Tyne along the northern edge of the site

 The site itself is made up of two Local Wildlife Sites (LWS), River Team Saltmarsh and River Tyne Tidal Mud, with the salt marsh being of particular significance as it is one of the few remaining areas of this habitat on the Tyne estuary.

The project aims to restore an element of Dunston Staiths and the adjacent saltmarsh, which featured in the Gateshead Garden Festival in 1990, and the report from DWS was used to support a Stage 2 application to the Heritage Lottery Fund. Through this application and work by the housing developer Taylor Wimpey it is hoped that there will be increased public access across the site as well as increased wildlife value.

 The project  includes enhancement proposals for a range of species and habitats but in particular for ground nesting birds. Target species are common tern ringed plover and oystercatcher. Three areas of shingle are proposed to create nesting areas for these species.

Recommendations for restoration and on going management of the saltmarsh and associated habitats also form part of thisplan.

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