Council cuts more salt marsh from Cleethorpes beach

Image caption,

The grass has to be removed manually by teams of council workers

North East Lincolnshire Council has dug up more salt marsh from Cleethorpes beach after an inspection showed new growth.

The removal of the plant was approved last year after the council came to an agreement with Natural England, after months of negotiations.

The council feared the thick grass would overrun the town's beach and affect tourism.

Salt marsh is protected by UK and European law.

The management plan allows the council to remove any growth from the section of beach north of Cleethorpes leisure centre. Any salt marsh south of that point will be allowed to spread.

The scheme is designed to balance the needs of tourism and the local wildlife. The salt marsh provides a habitat for wading birds and other animals and plants.

Natural England has described the site as being of "international importance for its biodiversity".

The area is protected with a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) classification.

Councillor Mick Bennett, chair of tourism and leisure at North East Lincolnshire Council, said under the five-year agreement the beach was inspected three times a year, and any growth manually removed.

He said: "It has grown in places we don't want it to grow. It has encroached on our golden, sandy beaches and we are going to deal with it."