Nature reserve plan 'gateway to prosperity' for coast

Plans to turn a 'dramatic and very beautiful' piece of the Lincolnshire coastline into a nature reserve have been welcomed by Chapel Parish Council.

Plans have been announced for part of the coast between Chapel St Leonards and Sutton-on-Sea to become a nature reserve.

The National Trust has announced its intention for the reserve which starts at Chapel St Leonards to become part of the Lincolnshire Coastal Country Park.

.As part of the plans - organised in partnership with the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, Lincolnshire County Council and East Lindsey District Council - the park will create new habitats for wildlife, protect those already there and provide a space for new visitors to enjoy the area.

Lincolnshire Coastal Country Park stretches from Sandllands, and inland to Hogsthorpe, Mumby, Anderby and Huttoft.

Coun Colin Davie - the National Trust will play a full part in developing the Lincolnshire coast for the next generation of visitors.

It features miles of stunning sandy beaches, wildlife packed nature reserves and a network of public rights of way. Attractions include the North Sea Observatory, Cloud Bar, Round and Round House and Sound Tower.

Coun Paul Hibbert-Greaves, chairman of Chapel St Leonards Parish Council, said the plans to develop the park are a "very positive move and the gateway to prosperity" for the coast.

"It will change the whole dynamics of the area, moving away from candy floss and arcades to a place for taking exercise and getting back to nature, which we can all enjoy together once the coronavirus pandemic is over and we can welcome back visitors," Coun Hibbert-Greaves said.

"Other counties, such as Norfolk, have always promoted their coastlines. Ours is beautiful and dramatic and now, with the Lincolnshire Coastal Country Park, we have something to shout about."

Prospects for Chapel St Leonards have been improving for some time. Last year saw the opening of a 16-mile Country Path - a project involving Natural England, friends at the council, communities, landowners and volunteers - which runs alongside the park, including the seascapes and unique habitats of Anderby Marsh, Chapel Pit and Wolla Bank Reedbed.

Commenting on the latest plans for the coastline, East Lindsey District Council leader Craig Leyland said: “This is a truly significant investment into the coastal economy.

“As leader of ELDC I welcome this announcement and look forward to working with the National Trust and LCC to make this a fantastic addition to the Lincolnshire coast.”

Lincolnshire County Council’s economy portfolio holder Colin Davie added: “Indeed, it is a fantastic and welcome acquisition which means the National Trust will play a full part in developing the Lincolnshire coast for the next generation of visitors.

“When Covid-19 is behind us we will truly have something to celebrate.”

The National Trust said the plans had been made possible by a “generous donation” from an unnamed supporter and money from its own Neptune Coastline Campaign.