Thursday, 16 April 2020

U is for Unique

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.

Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve is a rich mix of rare habitats from the botanically diverse dune slacks to the bountiful intertidal areas providing a food source for many species of flora and fauna. Adding in the sites geography, with part of the Reserve forming a tidal island, geology and its important role in early Christianity in the UK then you have a truly unique site. Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve is the jewel in the NNR crown.

Many of the habitats found on the Reserve are declining across the country. The salt marsh is one such habitat that is largely accreting compared to other areas, particularly on the south coast where human development and hard engineering put in place to stop coastal erosion have all but decimated the marshes there. 
A mash up of habitats, birds and history make for a unique site

The unique hydrology and geology of the dune system provide floristically diverse dune slacks, supporting an array of locally and nationally scarce plant communities as well as providing a habitat for the Lindisfarne Helleborine, an endemic Orchid. The dune system also supports large numbers of breeding Skylarks and Meadow Pipits which have all but disappeared from areas of their historical range due to intensification of farming and the loss of our wildflower meadows.
A stunning dunescape

The rich intertidal ecosystem supports up to 50,000 wintering waterfowl and waders, marking it as an internationally important RAMSAR site. The largest Eel Grass beds in the North East of England provide vital food for wintering East Atlantic Light-bellied Brent Geese, of which Lindisfarne NNR supports up to half the world’s population.

The uniqueness of the site also makes it vulnerable to change with many species filling niches created by the mix of habitats. Over the last decade visitor numbers have increased dramatically. The Reserve can now expect to see 700,000 visitors a year, and that is a number that is still rising. The numbers of people visiting is creating extra pressure on the delicate ecosystems It is our job as Reserve staff to maintain this balance between welcoming people and protecting wildlife and habitats, which, at times, can be a tricky tightrope to walk. We are a unique site which supports many important ecosystems within it.  We ask that if you are planning a visit (once government restrictions are lifted) that you read the bye-laws which can be found under the codes of conduct tab on this website. This will give you important information that will allow you to enjoy the Reserve but also ensure you are not unintentionally causing harm.

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