Terns at Whitesands Quarry

Isle of Wight based Aquatic Engineering have been working closely with Lafarge Tarmac and RSPB Scotland to build a Tern nesting raft as part of the regenerating project at Whitesands Quarry, east of Dunbar.

ternAquatic Engineering provided the nesting raft (which is just one of the products they build, supply and maintain) which measured 16m2 and covered in gravel.

The Junior Rangers – an environmental youth group with a focus on conservation work, including practical habitat management, biological surveying and environmental interpretation – were responsible for making sure that the gravel was the right depth on the base for nesting Terns.  The use of tern rafts and floating islands can offer an effective way to provide important undisturbed habitat in a deep-water lake for ground nesting birds such as terns and some wader species.


The whole project has been set up not only to provide a home for nesting Terns but also to restore the quarry in a way that enhances and encourages biodiversity and creates a wonderful place for visitors and local communities.  Additionally, the project has enabled the Junior Rangers to develop skills in bird identification and given them experience in  using large hand tools.


Aquatic Engineering returned at the beginning of April to refurbish the raft ready for the new season and we will continue to work alongside both Lafarge and RSPB Scotland to ensure the quarry remains a safe haven for wildlife.

If you are aged between 11-18, live in East Lothian and are interested in becoming a Junior Ranger, please contact Jen Edwards, Countryside Ranger at jedwards@eastlothian.gov.uk or 01620 827847


The photo shows a beautiful Tern chick on the nesting raft – a proud day for all involved!