Thanks to WREN, Lincolnshire County Council, and members of the public, the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust has purchased 58.5 acres (23.7 hectares) forming a strip of land between the sand dunes and the old sea bank between Anderby Creek and Wolla Bank Reedbed nature reserve. It will now be transformed into a wildlife haven of traditional coastal grazing marsh and reedbed.
WREN – a not-for-profit business that awards grants to community projects across the UK on behalf of Waste Recycling Group (WRG) has provided funding of £250,000. The money comes from WREN’s new £10million five-year Biodiversity Action Fund which supports projects that restore, conserve and revive the UK’s natural habitats and protect endangered species.
Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust Chief Executive, Paul Learoyd, said: "This is a very exciting land purchase for the Trust. It will create the biodiversity-rich core of the developing Lincolnshire Coastal Country Park and dramatically begin to re-establish the Lincolnshire wild coast as a Living Landscape by extending existing wildlife sites.
"We are extremely grateful to have received funding of £250,000 from WREN, £65,000 from Lincolnshire County Council through the Sustainable Community Strategy for establishment of Lincolnshire Coastal Country Park as one of the county's Big Ideas; and £12,000 from generous donations by Trust members and the public.
"We’d like to thank everyone who has made a donation to our Safeguarding Wild Lincolnshire appeal, in this, the Trusts’ 60th anniversary year. But we still need your help and support, a further £20,000 is required to meet the purchase price and ensure that the new land can be managed to the benefit of wildlife and people."
Donations to support the development of the Anderby Marsh for wildlife and people can be made via the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust website www.lincstrust.org.uk and clicking on the “donate now” button.
Over the next few years the project will restore and re-create coastal grazing marsh and reedbed – both of which are priority habitats for conservation in the Biodiversity Action Plan. It is expected that the new nature reserve will help to support a range of conservation priority birds including lapwing, curlew, redshank, snipe, barn owl, starling and reed bunting. With the expansion of reedbed it is also hoped that bittern may be attracted and otters, which formerly visited the adjacent Wolla Bank Pit, may also re-colonise the area. Managing the ditches throughout the site will favour species such as water vole and eel.
"Peter Cox, managing director of WREN added: “Our Biodiversity Action Fund supports projects that will enhance, restore and revive some of the UK’s most precious habitats, providing a safe haven for British nature and wildlife. We’re delighted to hear that the Trust have purchased the land to create a haven of traditional coastal grazing marsh and reedbed, and we look forward to seeing the project take shape."
This will be the initial project within the Lincolnshire Coastal Country Park – a proposal supported by eight partner organisations to improve access and wildlife habitats along 8km (5 miles) of the coast between Sandilands and Chapel St Leonards. It will provide the biodiversity-rich core of the coastal country park.
Cllr Eddy Poll, Executive Member for Lincolnshire County Council, Economic Development, said: "In the coastal country park, we are seeking to provide high quality facilities for visitors and better protection for wildlife, by creating enhanced, extensive and interconnected nature reserves and wildlife areas. This will be at the heart of a venue to attract visitors and residents in every season and provide the area with accessible, natural green space for people to enjoy.
"It is hoped that the area can then be developed over the next five to ten years and beyond and Lincolnshire County Council are pleased to have contributed £65,000 through the Sustainable Community Strategy to help the progress. The success in delivering this project will also be down to the participation of all the other organisations in what is so far a first-rate example of partnership working."
Make a donation today to help restore Lincolnshire's wild coast.