Priority habitats: Coastal sand dunes, Peat and clay exposures, Sabellaria spinulosa reefs, Saline lagoons and Saltmarsh.
Some of the most important wildlife sites in Europe, including two of the most significant estuaries (The Wash and Humber), occur along the coast. Both estuaries are designated Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), as well as ‘Saltfleetby-Theddlethorpe Dunes and Gibraltar Point’.
The coastline supports intertidal habitats and dune formations among the best of their type anywhere in the UK. The coast also provides feeding and wintering habitats for internationally important numbers of birds. However, these birds and the ecological functions of the designated sites are also dependent on the continued availability of suitable inland areas – a mosaic of terrestrial habitats for roosting, feeding and breeding.
These habitats are dynamic; they rely on coastal processes for their existence and as a result, are subject to natural changes in quality and extent. The aim is to allow these processes to continue to operate by managing the impacts of human influences on them. Human influence is both direct (development on sand dunes, pollution and disturbance, for example) and indirect (the alteration of natural processes through climate change or the installation of coastal defences).
Effective management of human impacts will include the retention of existing habitats, the creation of new ones and the rehabilitation of degraded sites, bringing benefits not only to wildlife, but also to the communities and industries along the coast.
Vision for Greater Lincolnshire's coast and marine environment: