Photographers have been accused of threatening the wellbeing of a protected bird, the Dartford warbler, at a National Trust site near Southwold in Suffolk u2013 by mimicking the speciesu2019 song using smartphone apps.

The National Trust claims photographers have been playing recordings of the Dartford warbler’s song to lure the bird onto nearby heather tops at Dunwich Heath – close to nesting sites – where they wait to take close-up shots.

The Trust has urged photographers not to stray off footpaths, and to behave responsibly, to prevent harm to nests.

Richard Gilbert, senior ranger for the site, told Norfolk Eastern Daily Press: ‘We are trying to raise awareness of a problem that has grown, particularly over the last five or six years…’

Gilbert reportedly told the BBC: ‘Tape luring is becoming more of a problem because people can download birds apps on their phones very easily.’

National Trust Dunwich Heath’s visitor experience manager, Alison Joseph, told AP: ‘National Trust Dunwich Heath would like to thank Amateur Photographer magazine for their support in helping to raise awareness of this issue.’

At the time of writing, the Trust had yet to respond when asked how many incidents involving photographers there have been.