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National Trust buys former golf course to create 74-acre coastal reserve

The conservation charity will restore habitats including sand dunes and wetlands

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The former Sandilands Golf Course has been purchased by the National Trust to turn into a nature reserve ((John Miller/National Trust Images/PA)

The former Sandilands Golf Course has been purchased by the National Trust to turn into a nature reserve ((John Miller/National Trust Images/PA)

The former Sandilands Golf Course has been purchased by the National Trust to turn into a nature reserve ((John Miller/National Trust Images/PA)

The National Trust has bought a former golf course to create a new 74-acre coastal nature reserve, it has announced.

The £800,000 acquisition of the former Sandilands golf course in Lincolnshire includes 2km (1.2 miles) of coastal land and the new reserve will form part of the Lincolnshire Coastal Countryside Park to help wildlife.

Sand dunes and wetland habitats will be restored to support wildlife including migratory birds such as black-tailed godwit, spotted redshank and spoonbill, and breeding birds like snipe, lapwing and oystercatcher.

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The National Trust will be creating homes for rare and uncommon birds such as Lapwings (Dougie Holden/National Trust Images/PA)

The National Trust will be creating homes for rare and uncommon birds such as Lapwings (Dougie Holden/National Trust Images/PA)

The National Trust will be creating homes for rare and uncommon birds such as Lapwings (Dougie Holden/National Trust Images/PA)

The National Trust said work to transform the site will start once the coronavirus pandemic has passed and the current Government restrictions are lifted.

Then the conservation organisation will carry out surveys of the land to begin restoring sand dunes, dune pools and wetland, and start work on converting the old clubhouse into a visitor centre and cafe.

It is the first coastal purchase by the Trust since it bought a little under a mile of the White Cliffs of Dover coastline in 2012.

It has been made possible with a generous donation from a supporter together with funds from the Trust’s Neptune coastline campaign, which supports coastline projects, the charity said.

The National Trust will work in partnership with Lincolnshire County Council, Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, East Lindsey District Council and the Environment Agency, to ensure the reserve complements the Lincolnshire Coastal Country Park.

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The former Sandilands golf course will be turned into a coastal reserve (John Miller/National Trust Images/PA)

The former Sandilands golf course will be turned into a coastal reserve (John Miller/National Trust Images/PA)

The former Sandilands golf course will be turned into a coastal reserve (John Miller/National Trust Images/PA)

The park is an 8,650-acre area of coastline extending from Chapel Point in the south to Sandilands in the north, with sandy beaches, sand dunes, grazing marshes and reedbeds, which play host to wading birds, breeding warblers and marsh harriers.

Louise Ransberry, assistant director of operations for the National Trust in the East Midlands, said: “The vision for the future of the new reserve is to provide a space where everyone can enjoy the benefits of nature.

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

“Once we are able to welcome visitors, they will be able to enjoy the colours of yellow flag iris and purple loosestrife while hearing the calls of squadrons of avocet.

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Plants at Sandilands will include yellow flag iris (National Trust/Robert Morris/PA)

Plants at Sandilands will include yellow flag iris (National Trust/Robert Morris/PA)

Plants at Sandilands will include yellow flag iris (National Trust/Robert Morris/PA)

“And, in winter, people will be able to admire the grace of whooper swans’ flight as they arrive from their summer breeding grounds in the sub-arctic.”

Paul Learoyd, chief executive of Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, said: “We are delighted the National Trust is making this commitment to the Lincolnshire coast.

“By restoring and protecting this section of the coast, there will be an easily accessible nature-rich experience along this important stretch of coastline.”

PA