2019 Morecambe, UK

Key Info

Conference Dates
20/09/19 — 23/09/19

Registration Dates
28/03/19 — 31/07/19

Abstract Submission Dates
08/04/19 — 31/07/19

Attendance Fees
Members £75.00
Non-Members £115.00

In the autumn of 2019 we will meet in Morecambe, UK.

If you have any questions related to our annual meetings, please contact us via


The WSG 2019 conference will be held in the historic building ‘The Platform’ in Morecambe just a 2 minute walk from Morecambe station.

By Rail:

Lancaster has direct rail services from London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester and Birmingham. Morecambe can then be reached by a connecting rail service roughly every 30 minutes and this journey takes 10 minutes.

The London Euston to Lancaster train takes about 2 hours 40 minutes, Euston station is about a 10 minute walk from London St Pancras allowing for easy connections to the Channel Tunnel.

By Air:

Manchester Airport has direct rail links to Lancaster with at least 1 direct departure per hour from 06:10 until 22:10 and takes just over an hour, with the connecting service to Morecambe as described above. Manchester has by far the largest European air network of local airports and also the best rail connections.

Return travel to Manchester airport: The first train to leave Lancaster on Monday and Tuesday morning is at 06:20 and arrives at Manchester Airport at 07:47.

Birmingham Airport also has direct rail links to Lancaster with 1 direct train departure per hour from 07:53 until 18:53 and takes roughly 2 hours 15 minutes.  A local train service to Morecambe departs roughly every 30 minutes from Lancaster. Return travel to Birmingham airport – The first departure on Monday and Tuesday is 06:58 and arrives at 09:19.

Travel via Liverpool or Leeds/Bradford Airports are both possible but the rail network makes travel to Lancaster and on to Morecambe much harder.

Please note: Sunday rail travel is often a rail replacement bus service and starts at around 11:30.

If a large group are travelling together it may be cheaper to pre-book a private hire taxi. Details of firms offering this service will be available shortly

By Road:

Morecambe is about 10 minutes away from the M6 by taking junction 34


Requirements for Visas can be found here. If you require a Visa, the ‘Standard visitor Visa’ specifically covers conferences. If you require an invitation letter for this conference, then please email

Accommodation is available to book through the Register tab, with the following options:

  • Shared caravan (available Friday evening to Monday morning only) as a complete package with breakfast included, ideal for anyone travelling on a tight budget.
  • Single hotel room
  • Twin hotel room (2 separate beds)
  • Double hotel room (1 double bed) – For this option please book accommodation for 1 person and state who you will be sharing with, the second person does not book accommodation

The hotel (Lothersdale Hotel), with stunning views over Morecambe Bay, is about a 5 minute walk from the main venue (The Platform), and will be used for registration and dinner on Thursday and Friday. The budget caravan accommodation is on a nearby caravan park about 15 minutes walk from the venue.

Excursions will be held on the Friday of the WSG2019 conference to ensure high tide is in daylight and therefore should offer better views of the waders using the bay. Departure will be around 10:00 and returning by around 18:00.  Currently 4 excursions are planned:

1. RSPB Leighton Moss

A nearby reserve which, over the last 50 years, has been restored from agricultural land to a large reedbed and pools for waders.  Recent years have seen the arrival of Avocets, rapidly increasing numbers of passage and wintering Black-tailed godwit, several hundred moulting Redshank with many other wader species frequently seen.   The bus journey takes about 15 minutes and there will be some walking (about 2-3km).

Leader: Richard du Feu

2. Bowland Fells

Upland breeding wader habitat in Europe is rare, and the UK is unique in the extent of this habitat.  This is an opportunity to see some of England’s most densely populated upland wader breeding habitat.  The sites to be visited hold good numbers of breeding Curlew, Lapwing and Redshank during the breeding season. It is also an area well known for conflict between different land uses and conservation for rare breeding raptors.  September is well known for not being the best month to see breeding waders and therefore may not feature many views of waders, but will offer stunning views of the uplands and a view of Morecambe Bay and the Fylde should it be clear. The trip leader works extensively in the Bowland Fells and can offer many unique insights into this unusual habitat.

Leader: James Bray

3. RSPB Marshside, WWT Martinmere

These are two sites close to each other near the Ribble estuary about a 75 minute drive from Morecambe.  WWT Martinmere is an inland site with large numbers of wintering Pink-footed geese and Whooper swan, however also attracts large numbers of passage and wintering Ruff.  The grassland surrounding the site attracts good numbers of breeding Lapwing.  RSPB Marshside is a relatively new reserve on the edge of the town of Southport and part of the Ribble Marshes Ramsar site.  In September many thousand Black-tailed godwit moult on site along with significant numbers of Lapwing, Redshank and Ruff.  Over winter the Ribble is a significant wintering site for Knot and Dunlin.

Leader: Louise Clewley

4. West side of Morecambe Bay

The West side of Morecambe Bay is made up of several flat, sandy islands, some of these are connected by causeways and/or bridges.  The little bays surrounding these islands are particularly good for waders in spring and autumn.  Walney Island attracts large numbers of Ringed plover and Sanderling in spring whereas the area around Foulney and South Walney attracts large numbers of Knot, Oystercatcher and Eider.  The views from the Islands give an excellent overview of Morecambe Bay. While just 20km from Morecambe as the Oystercatcher flies, the drive takes around an hour and goes through the southern tip of the English Lake District.

Leaders: Gary Clewley, Ros Green



Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday
ExCo meeting Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast Predator management workshop
Arrival & registration from 1600 Registration Welcome & introduction, AGM Talks Depart by 1630
Dinner Excursions Talks Lunch
Drinks Dinner Lunch Talks
Drinks Talks Conference closing
Poster session Dinner & ceilidh
Evening social & drinks


Managing predator impacts for the conservation of breeding waders

Purpose of the workshop

This full-day workshop will explore the current knowledge and knowledge gaps in the effectiveness of tools to reduce the impact of predators on breeding waders, including predator removal, diversion and exclusion, and mammalian predator responses to these tools. Workshop attendees and invited speakers will be involved in discussions regarding best practice of current management techniques and the prioritisation of the future research which is required to fill our current knowledge gaps.


Rebecca Laidlaw (main organiser), Jennifer Smart, Samantha Franks, Harry Ewing and Jennifer Gill

Note: You do not have to register to attend the whole conference to attend the workshop, and the workshop itself is free to attend. Please email if you wish to register to attend ONLY the workshop.

We are pleased to announce that we are now accepting offers of talks for Morecambe 2019.  To offer a talk, please go to the “Submit Abstract” tab to give your title and provide an abstract.  As usual, the conference will be shaped by the talks you offer – with any subject involving shorebirds welcome.

As the conference is being held in one room this year, we will not be able to run parallel sessions.  We anticipate that most talks will be 15 minutes (including questions), but depending on how many talks are offered, we expect to have some sessions of 5 minute talks pulling out one or two key findings from your work.  In addition, we will have the now traditional, fast and furious, present your poster in 30 seconds session.

Please keep your abstract text to a maximum of 250 words (excluding the talk title).  You should also include the names and affiliations of each author (but not physical addresses) and the email address and Twitter handle of the first author only (not part of the 250 words).  Abstracts of all the talks and posters will be published in an abstract booklet which will be given to conference delegates and published on the IWSG website.

At the end of your abstract, please indicate your preference for offering a 15 minute talk, a 5 minute talk or a poster.

Each year the IWSG supports up to five low income country delegates’ participation at the Annual Conference with €200. This short form will be the basis for prioritizing the applications.
Please note that we can only support people whose work is related to waders (species belonging to suborders Scolopaci, Thinocori, Chionidi and Charadrii). Also, in order to qualify for the scholarship, you would need to give an oral or poster presentation at the conference.

To apply for the scholarship, please fill in the application form. The deadline for the application is the 1st of June and we will let the applicants know of the results by the 10th of June 2019.

For questions, please contact the conference team via


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More Payment Options

Account name:  Morecambe Bay Wader ringing group
Bank: Lloyds Bank
Sort code 30-98-97
Account number 71807760
IBAN: GB19LOYD30989771807760

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