Sandilands golf course to become coastal bird haven

SandilandsImage source, National Trust
Image caption,
The National Trust wants to encourage migratory birds to return to the area

A former golf course is to get a back-to-nature makeover to encourage migratory birds to return.

The land at Sandilands - between Sutton on Sea and Chapel St Leonards - is the first coastal acquisition for the National Trust in Lincolnshire.

It covers an area of 30 hectares (74 acres) and cost £800,000, which was donated to the trust locally.

Louise Ransberry, assistant director of operations in the region, said it was a really significant purchase.

"The Lincolnshire coast is one of the most important stretches of English coastline for wildlife, especially as it's on the east coast migration route for birds.

"The area we are talking about would have once been full of migratory birds and it has the capacity to be that again.

"We are really excited to get the land and hope to create an amazing coastal habitat."

Image source, National Trust
Image caption,
The reserve is being created on the site of a former golf course

Once completed, the reserve will form part of the Lincolnshire Coastal Country Park, and be home to breeding birds like snipes, lapwings and oystercatchers, and unusual migratory birds such as black-tailed godwits and spoonbills, the trust said.

However. Ms Ransberry said no time scale had been set for the work due to social distancing measures put in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

"Clearly, it's not going to look too different for quite a while and we won't be doing any work during the current situation," she said.

"But when we are able to get on to the land we will create what the habitats once were."

The National Trust, which is working in partnership with Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, Lincolnshire County Council, East Lindsey District Council and the Environment Agency, has closed its other public sites in response to the outbreak.

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