Thursday 9 April 2020

N is for National Nature Reserve

Please remember! We ask that people do not visit the Reserve particularly if you have to travel. All car parks on Holy Island are closed to visitors until government restrictions are lifted. Many residents on Holy island fall into the vulnerable category. Please adhere to these guidelines for the health and safety of yourself and others during this time.

National Nature Reserves (NNR's) in England are designated by Natural England and were established to protect some of our most important habitats, species and geology. The sites were also created to be outdoor laboratories for research into all aspects of the ecosystem and the pressures they face.

There are currently 224 NNRs in England with a total area of over 94,400 hectares - approximately 0.7% of the country’s land surface. Many National Nature Reserves are managed by Natural England but some are managed by other non-governmental organisations such as the National Trust and Wildlife Trusts.

National Nature Reserve (NNR) logo

Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve is managed by Natural England in consultation with local residents, farmers and the Joint AdvisoryCommittee and is made up of 3,500 hectares of intertidal mud and sand flats, dynamic dune systems, rocky shore and salt marsh, creating a complex mosaic of important habitats. The site covers over 65km of coast line from Cheswick black rocks in the north to Budle Bay in the south and also encapsulating the dune system on Holy Island. It was designated for these habitats and the internationally important numbers of waterfowl that use the site in winter

Map of Lindisfarne NNR

. The Reserve falls into the wider Lindisfarne Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). SSSI's ensure that land is being managed in a favourable way to protect vital important habitats. Lindisfarne NNR is also part of the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

The Reserve is part of a European network of designated protected sites due to the important habitats and rich variety of wildlife they support and has also been designated a RAMSAR site. RAMSAR sites are designated by UNESCO and identifies wetlands of international importance, especially those providing water fowl habitat.

As you can see their are a lot of designations attached to Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve. These ensure that the habitats are managed to a high standard and without causing any negative impact on the site. By protecting the Reserve the wider landscape will benefit from the rich biodiversity on the site.

Sadly, over the last century we have lost much of our coastal wetlands across the country due to human encroachment. Our desire to live by the sea has left many of our intertidal species of animals and plants clinging to ever decreasing refuges of land thus making the large intertidal area at Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve all the more vital to preserve. The suite of designations that Lindisfarne NNR reveals it's importance not just on a national level but on an international level too.
Beautiful landscape across the Reserve ©JJD

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