|Buckthorn in Cleethorpes coastal nature reserve - hard weather habitat for winter thrushes?|
BUCKTHORN is to be cleared from an extensive area of beach between Skegness and Gibraltar Point.
East Lindsey District Council has been given the green light to carry out the work by Natural England.
Supported by £42,290 of national funding, contractors will, starting next month, remove as much as possible of the invasive buckthorn on 7.3 hectares of the outer dunes.
Any regrowth will be sprayed off in subsequent years. According to ELDC, the cleared dunes will rapidly be taken over by dune grasses.
The shape of the dunes will be maintained. and the Environment Agency is believed to be happy with the plans from a flood risk perspective.
Within a 10-year management plan, the council has agreed to manage other areas through periodic cutting and the removal of any non-native plants that have established a foothold.
ELDC’s portfolio holder for the environment Coun Steve O’Dare says: “As the council is responsible for managing this area, it has a legal duty to protect and enhance the features of the site, which have sadly declined in recent decades because of increasing and dense scrub that shades out other sand dune plants.
“Restoring it to typical grass covered dunes is a high priority for the Government’s nature conservation advisors, Natural England, and the council has to undertake the work that is planned to meet the Natural England requirements.”
It remains to be seen what impact the works have on winter thrushes, such as fieldfares and redwings, which feed on buckthorn berries.
The plant also provides a roosting habitat for migrating warblers and other songbirds.