Embarassment for council after sign gaffe at boating lake

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BRAND new wildlife identification signs at a Skegness beauty spot are to be replaced after an embarrassing gaffe left some of the boards sporting images of animals not native to the UK.

A number of bird images on signs at Skegness Boating Lake caused confusion after several eagle-eyed passers-by noticed that some species featured were usually native to Africa.

The boating lake was recently revamped, and the new signs were only installed late last month in time for the approaching season.

Darren Matthews, a trained wildlife ranger told the Standard that although he was ‘very impressed’ with the overall work he was ‘stunned’ to see errors which had been made.

He said: “I came to the bird species identification boards which have been put up to help inform the visiting public.

“On at least one board some of the wrong species are attributed to the photographs and one species has never been recorded in Britain and is an endemic species to central and southern Africa.

“As a trained wildlife ranger I was stunned to see these very bad errors and feel that the person who put these signs together hadn’t done any real research.”

In response to the sign mix-up, Gary Sargeant, property and technical services manager for ELDC, said: “We are aware of images that are incorrect and the sign manufacturer is currently working on replacements as it wasn’t the council’s error.

“We have asked the company concerned to cover the cost of replacement signs, which we aim to have in place by the May Bank Holiday weekend.”

The new signs were installed as part of a £600,000 revamp of the foreshore in Skegness.

This included the transformation of the southern part into wildlife zone.

The boating lake was also drained and cleared of debris in preparation for the nature area.

Planting and pruning was also carried out to rejuvenate the area and encourage wildlife.

As reported, the work correlates with the long term aspirations laid out in the Masterplan consultation, in which the southern part of the foreshore is designated as an environmental zone.

It is being developed in partnership with the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust at Gibraltar Point and it is hoped to expand the resort’s tourist appeal to a new variety of visitors.