Plans for new nature reserve at Sandilands take major step forward
- 20 June 2023
- Last updated:
- 20 June 2023
The National Trust at Sandilands has appointed local architects and submitted a planning application for the new coastal nature reserve, which will see major wildlife habitat creation and the construction of an eco-friendly visitor welcome hub.
The conservation charity submitted the plans following lengthy and detailed consultations with partner organisations, including the Lincolnshire Coastal Country Park partnership and other experts. This helped determine important elements around nature conservation, sustainability and technical design.
Kirsty James, General Manager for Sandilands, said:
"The project team have developed the proposed plans with careful consideration, ensuring that nature can thrive, and our local community and visitors can connect and access the natural world around them.
I am proud of our collaboration with local contractors, communities, education, and access groups that have supported us in this journey. We want the community to have pride in Sandilands, which is creating a legacy for future generations."
The plans include forming wetland wildlife habitats with open water, islands, reedbeds and ponds, along with grasslands that have sand dunes and marshy areas. These are all crucial for helping animals and plants to thrive and encourage more wildlife to make its home at Sandilands.
A range of public walkways and boardwalks are also proposed which will provide access across this visionary landscape.
Carl Hawke, Nature Conservation Adviser for the National Trust, explained:
“The new habitats will be especially important for migrating water birds such as spotted redshank and little stint and will continue to provide a home for our well-loved local bird species like skylarks and meadow pipits.
Sandilands is also a great place for rare plants such as birdsfoot clover to grow, so the action we are taking will help support them too.”
A visitor welcome building at the northern tip of the reserve is also included in the plans. This will contain a café and a community space. The building is designed to run carbon-neutrally. The exterior and interior will also complement the nature reserve and surrounding area. Changing place facilities which are suitable for children and adults with accessibility needs will also be created at Sandilands.
Drawings have been released showing what to expect when the project is complete. The National Trust’s own design team formed the initial design concepts which the architects used as inspiration for making the proposals a reality.
Influence have successfully been chosen to design several important improvements to the landscape on this one-and-a-half-mile coastal strip.
Shona Hatton, the Director of Influence, said:
“Creating areas to enable wildlife habitats and inclusive spaces where visitors can connect with nature is hugely important for both environment and wellbeing.
The Lincolnshire Coast is rich in biodiversity and the National Trust is working hard to protect and enhance the natural world here and make it more accessible for everyone to enjoy.
We are incredibly proud to be working with them on the Sandilands project.”
Building Architects Jonathan Hendry will ensure that the visitor welcome building is oriented around people’s needs, with the aim to make it accessible, eco-friendly and useful to the whole community.
"We'relooking forward to working with an organisation like the National Trust to deliver this significant project on the Lincolnshire Coast.
For us, the Sandilands project will form a part of a suite of buildings we have completed along this stretch of coastline, including our award-winning beach hut and house at Anderby Creek.
The developing proposals have been formed through coordination and consultation with the National Trust design team and we have been appointed to deliver this project from planning submission through to completion.
The overarching concept behind the proposals is to build sustainably.
Much of the fabric from the existing building on site has been retained in a bid to reduce the carbon footprint of the project.
The nearby existing toilet building will also be retained and adapted to provide additional facilities.
Whilst important in providing visitors with facilities and amenities for their visit, the buildings are to be ‘quiet’ structures in the landscape, and as a result natural materials have been proposed including timber cladding and metal roofing.
Wherever possible, sustainable technologies including solar panels and rainwater harvesting have been proposed in a bid to deliver a carbon neutral project.”
The project is backed by Connected Coast Town Deal, which is supporting the development of the new welcome hub with a £2M Towns Fund investment.
Chris Baron, Chair of Lincolnshire’s Connected Coast Board, said:
“National Trust Sandilands provides a fantastic opportunity for local people and visitors alike to experience our wonderful coastline.
The new visitor hub is set to offer a welcoming base, and by helping people to get involved in nature and wide-open spaces it will play an important role in improving people’s mental and physical wellbeing.
Further benefits will also be realised through the significant volunteering opportunities that will be made available on the site as a result of the new hub.
This exciting project will allow us to significantly enhance the visitor experience at Sandilands, which will ultimately help to attract people to visit and enjoy our local area.”
It is expected that National Trust Sandilands will support and improve the local economy. It will be a prime location for visitors travelling between the Mablethorpe and Sutton on Sea areas, as well as attract more tourists in and around Lincolnshire.