Many of the bird species which breed at Lightshaw Meadows, such as redshank, lapwing and snipe are ground nesting birds. It is very important that these birds are not disturbed as it could scare away the adult birds leaving their young or eggs vulnerable. With the adult birds gone, their young or eggs could starve, freeze or be caught by predators. With such birds already suffering from low population numbers, the death of their young would hit the population hard. People should therefore stick to the main routes as indicated and keep dogs on leads.
In some cases where the wetland habitat and the species it supports are particularly sensitive or endangered there is no public access. This is to protect these important habitats and species, allowing them to thrive and contribute to national, and in some cases international, population numbers.