April 11, 2023 10.30 am This story is over 14 months old

Bird ‘superhighway’ over Lincolnshire in running for World Heritage status

It could join Stonehenge on the list

A migratory bird route that passes over Lincolnshire is on the list of potential UNESCO World Heritage sites in the UK.

The government has nominated seven sites, including the East Atlantic Flyway, for the prestigious UN list.

The status is reserved for sites of cultural, scientific and historical significance, and includes 33 UK areas including Stonehenge.

The government has updated its ‘Tentative List’ of sites it hopes will be awarded recognition. 

The east coast flyway is used by 90 million birds each year, covering coastal areas of Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Kent.

The government says it has a “vital importance to bird populations and wildlife. The area sees huge transient bird populations pass through every year as the seasons change.”

Also on the updated list are York’s historic city centre, Birkenhead Park in Merseyside, and three ancient settlements on the Shetland Isles.

From the Wash to the Humber, Lincolnshire is a vital route for migrating birds | Photo: RSPB

Michael Copleston, RSPB England Director, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that the global importance of the English east coast has been recognised by the independent panel and that the east coast wetlands will now be part of the UK’s Tentative List of World Heritage sites.

“The east coast is an essential refuge for over 155 bird species as well as a world-leading example of how we can manage our coastlines in the face of a changing climate, with true value for nature and people.

“We’re really looking forward to working with partners and communities up and down the coast to develop a bid for UNESCO in the coming years.”

Heritage Minister Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay said: “Today we are confirming our support for some of the most enchanting heritage sites and breathtaking landscapes in the UK and its Overseas Territories as they bid for UNESCO World Heritage Site status.

“All the locations being put forward would be worthy recipients of this accolade – and we will give them our full backing so they can benefit from the international recognition it can bring.”

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