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Kite surfing

Wildlife aware wind sports

This wind sports guidance can be downloaded as a PDF for printing.

What you get up to on the water matters

Many kite and wind surfers are taking steps to avoid wildlife disturbance and share our shores with nature by following the Bird Aware Coastal Code:

  • look out for birds
  • move further away if they become alert
  • follow requests on signs.

Entry and exit

  • Plan your route and choose a wildlife friendly entry and exit point. Use our online map to find the most wildlife friendly routes.
  • Rig up and keep kit at the top of the beach. Mud, marsh and the water’s edge are feeding areas for birds; shingle beaches are resting and nesting areas.
  • Carry or float equipment in and out. Dragging equipment will damage habitat and your craft.

Using suitable entry and exit points can reduce erosion, avoid damaging sensitive plans and animals, and lessen wildlife disturbance.

Watch out, birds about!

Kite and wind surfers stay wildlife-friendly by minimising noise and sudden changes in direction.

If birds become aware of you and change their behaviour, give them space by moving away at a steady pace. You’ll know they’ve become aware of you if they start:

  • putting up their heads
  • bobbing or turning their heads in your direction
  • calling out
  • stretching or flapping wings
  • walking, swimming or flying away.


Cormorant with Portsmouth in the background

Tips for kite surfers

Keep the length of your kite string away from marshes, lagoons, mudflats and islands.

Did you know?

Kite and windsurfing equipment can unintentionally cause disturbance. Anything that flaps is especially scary for birds as it resembles predators.

Did you know?

Wildlife disturbance isn’t just an issue in summer. Coastal birds like waders, ducks and geese will be able to feed and rest safely if they’re not disturbed in the winter months. This will help them thrive.

Protect sensitive places

Islands, spits, marshes, lagoons and mud are vital habitats. Human presence will prevent birds using them.

Avoid landing here and keep your distance.

Did you know?

Wildlife is more sensitive to being disturbed in areas that aren’t frequently visited.