Sand dunes in Skegness to be actively managed for wildlife following historic agreement

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A historic agreement has been signed by East Lindsey District Council to improve wildlife habitat a Skegness Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

For the first time in living memory, the sand dunes at Seacroft, Skegness, are to be actively managed for wildlife.

This is a part of the Gibraltar Point Nature Reserve that extends from Princess Parade car park, south to the National Nature Reserve at the end of Seacroft Esplanade.

The area is visited by many hundreds of local people and visitors each year who enjoy the wide open spaces of the beach and dunes.

ELDC’s portfolio holder for the environment Coun Steve O’Dare said: “As the council is responsible for managing this area, it has a legal duty to protect and enhance the features of the site, which have sadly declined in recent decades because of increasing and dense scrub that shades out other sand dune plants.

“Restoring it to typical grass covered dunes is a high priority for the Government’s nature conservation advisors, Natural England, and the council has to undertake the work that is planned to meet the Natural England requirements.”

In support of this work, the council has been allocated £42,290 of national funding to help manage the area for the next 10 years and work is due to start on this early in the New Year.

Contractors will remove as much as possible of the invasive buckthorn on 7.3 hectares of the outer dunes and any regrowth will be sprayed off in subsequent years. The cleared dunes will rapidly be covered by typical dune grasses.

The shape of the dunes will be maintained and the Environment Agency has confirmed it is happy with the plans from a flood risk perspective.

Within the 10 year management plan the council has agreed to manage other areas through periodic cutting and the removal of non-native plants that have an established foothold. Over the coming months and years the works will soon show a very beneficial impact, compared with allowing further invasion of dense scrub.

To find out more about this area, its wildlife and management, visit www.e-lindsey.gov.uk/sssi