Another wildlife haven for Suffolk

WILDLIFE campaigners reacted with delight last night after it was revealed a huge part of the Orwell Estuary is set to be protected from development.An application has been made to designate the area a site of special scientific interest (SSSI) which will safeguard its future for generations.

WILDLIFE campaigners reacted with delight last night after it was revealed a huge part of the Orwell Estuary is set to be protected from development.

An application has been made to designate the area a site of special scientific interest (SSSI) which will safeguard its future for generations.

Areas of the Estuary have been recognised as an SSSI since 1987, but now English Nature has applied to include the Wherstead Flats, Loompit Lake, Trimley Marshes and Slumpy Lane Wharf within the designation.

Land at Woolverstone, Pin Mill, Nacton Quay, Levington and Shotley Point will also be added to the SSSI area.


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The application has been lodged in a bid to protect the habitat of numerous rare birds, including the avocet and redshank, as well as several species of scarce plants.

It will prevent any activity deemed to damage the area, and will require any development plans to be approved by English Nature bosses.

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Richard Rafe, area manager for English Nature in Suffolk, said: "The Orwell Estuary is immensely important for its bird life and we are just trying to prevent anything happening which will damage the area or affect the habitat.

"The vast majority of people have already been notified and most of them seem to be happy about it."

There will now be an objection period of four months, during which anyone who is adversely affected by the plans can make representations to English Nature.

The complaints will then be passed on to the independent English Nature council, which will decide whether or not to officially confirm it as an SSSI site.

Audrey Boyle, a spokesman for the Suffolk Wildlife Trust, said: "Obviously, the Trust is absolutely delighted that this SSSI will offer added protection to the area and the full force of the law will really come down on any damaging activity.

"The Estuary area is of particular importance for a whole range of birds, especially those which are wintering and migrating, so we are very pleased."

People enjoying the views from the Bull and Oyster Pub in Pin Mill, yesterday also welcomed the news.

Graham Collins, who is a member of the River Orwell Sporting and Conservation Club, said the SSSI was a 'brilliant idea.'

"I'm hoping that not too many people object to it," he added. "It's there with the best of intentions and I am 100% behind it.

"Hopefully, what we've got here now will still be here for our children, and our children's children."

Sally Llwellyn, of Holbrook, said: "It would be nice to keep this area exactly how it is – it's beautiful and we spend most weekends down here."

Richard Folley, who lives in Ipswich, added: "I think it's a great idea. I love to see things kept how they are and this area has been like this for hundreds of years.

"We don't want to see any development – it's beautiful around here."

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