Suffolk coast hopes for £250,000 boost for nature

Minsmere seashore

Most of the grant would go towards improving access to public hides at Minsmere along the seashore. - Credit: Paul Geater

Two projects on the Suffolk coast have been told they look likely to receive a £250,000 windfall to make them more accessible - and more attractive to wildlife.

The Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) has been told it is likely to get the money from National Grid's Landscape Enhancement Initiative which will be shared between schemes at Minsmere and at Snape Marshes.

At Minsmere £196,000 will be spent making it easier for people using the public hides near the beach. A new 400-metre boardwalk suitable for wheelchairs will be built, a hide will be extended and a new viewing platform created.

At Snape Marshes £57,000 will be spent on improving hedgerows and woodland underplanting.

Both grants are subject to final approval from Ofgem which administers the grant.

 Simon Amstutz, the manager of the AONB said the grant would make a significant difference, especially for accessibility at Minsmere: "It would make it much easier to reach the hides which overlook the reserve from the beach - and enable more people to enjoy what is a fantastic resource.

"I think that over the last few months many more people have come to realise just what a fantastic resource we have here on the Suffolk coast and this grant would allow us to be able to show that off to many more people."

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Mr Amstutz said a timetable for the work on the two projects would have to be drawn up once the final grant announcement was made - but could take up to a year in the case of Minsmere because it would have to be fitted around the natural cycle of the reserve.

He said: "We had hoped to hear some time ago and had drawn up a programme then, but you have to be aware of the seasons and when you cannot disturb the wildlife so we will have to pay attention to that. 

"Once we get the final decision then we will go ahead and draw up a detailed timetable - but it could take a year for all the work to be completed."

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