Lincolnshire has been chosen to host the first new national nature reserve marking the reign of King Charles III.
The Lincolnshire Coronation Coast National Nature Reserve will cover 21 square miles, centring on existing protected areas at Theddlethorpe and Saltfleetby.
It will be officially declared by Natural England this summer.
The reserve contains a variety of sand dunes, salt-marsh, mudflats and freshwater marshes, which support many breeding and wintering birds, natterjack toads, special plants and insects.
Under the ‘King’s Series of National Nature Reserves’, five major National Nature Reserves will be named every year for the next five years – 25 in total.
Natural England said the plans would leave a lasting public legacy for people and nature.
The England Coast Path from Yorkshire to Suffolk, which passes through the new nature reserve, is also due to be renamed as the King Charles III England Coast Path.
Lincolnshire County Councillor Colin Davie called the announcements “fantastic news”.
“This will really help us promote the natural and beauty of the Lincolnshire coast to tourists far and wide,” he said.
“It is about not just protecting the environment but helping it to thrive in the future.
“It’s about protecting the landscapes for the birds and for the natural environment reasons but it is also about the attractiveness of the coast for the future.
“It’s about encouraging people to recognise the importance of our natural environment that we have on the coast and then to visit it and respect it.”
Work done with Visit Lincolnshire has already seen a spike in traffic looking for areas to carry out walks, or bird watching or other outdoor activities.
Councillor Davie also noted concerns about health inequalities about the Lincolnshire Coast, adding: “Anything that gets people outdoors to help them explore what’s on their doorstep has enormous positive health benefits”.
Four further National Nature Reserves for 2023-2024 will be confirmed at a later date, but are likely to include the Mendip Hills in Somerset, Moccas Park in Herefordshire, Ingleborough in North Yorkshire and Lullington in East Sussex.
Tony Juniper, Chair of Natural England, said: “For more than five decades, our King has been at the forefront of thinking about the need to restore our depleted natural world.
“He has highlighted the vital importance of sustainable agriculture, questions of water security, solutions to climate change and the urgency of moving to a circular economy inspired by nature.
“He’s helped make progress on all these and other subjects while having people’s well-being at the centre of his ideas.”
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