The RSPB is urging people to watch where they walk, to avoid stepping on nesting birds.

A spokesman said: “Over half of England’s most threatened breeding birds nest on or near the ground.

“As we return to the countryside around Cumbria, watching your step can help protect breeding birds and other wildlife.

More than half of England’s most threatened breeding bird species nest on, or near to the ground, including curlew, little tern, nightjar and lapwing.

In Cumbria, uplands and moors are vital homes to ground-nesting birds including curlew, dunlin and golden plover. The hen harrier, one of the UK’s most threatened birds of prey, also nests at ground level in some upland areas. Coastal areas can be home to ground nesting birds; redshank, ringed plover and oystercatcher all make homes in coastal margins.

By keeping dogs on leads and backing away from parent birds, it will help to protect any beach nesting birds.