The most active period for the Clean Beach programme is during spring and summer, which also coincides with bird nesting times. We kindly request that clean-up event organisers consider this issue when selecting their sites.
Hannu Klemola, Regional Director of the Southwest Finland District of the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation, states that nesting time begins in mid-March and continues until mid-August.
Klemola responds that there are rarely nesting sites on public beaches. If, however, there are bird nests on the beach, it is a good idea to leave the beach alone. The majority of Finland’s bird species are protected, and no birds may be disturbed during their nesting times.
Klemola explains that nesting places are signalled by a bird’s behaviour. If a bird appears to be nervous, distressed, circling the area or even aggressive, there may be a nest nearby that the bird is protecting. It is also a good idea to keep your eyes open and see if you can spot bird colonies in the area or possible nests.
Many bird colonies prefer to nest on islets, so you should steer clear of them during nesting times. Waterbirds nest in places that offer shelter, such as among grasses and reeds. Shoreline meadows and islets are typical nesting places for birds. Klemola emphasises that, when cleaning a beach, groups should especially be careful to avoid disturbing the nests of shoreline nesters, such as the little ringed plover, many waterbirds and the terns. The camouflaging colours of the eggs make them difficult to see.
While moving around the clean-up site, it is, therefore, important to keep your eyes open and observe the behaviours of the birds around you. This will enable you to anticipate and avoid possible nesting places. Hannu Klemola also reminds us that dogs and cats need to be on a lead at clean-up sites.
Clean Beach is a programme that we hope can positively contribute to improving the state of our natural surroundings. The purpose of the clear instructions, advance notifications and sufficient information is to assist you in selecting appropriate clean-up sites. Participation in the programme signifies your interest in the well-being of nature. The programme is being implemented with a respect for nature.