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National nature reserve to be unveiled

PUBLISHED: 07:58 11 June 2003 | UPDATED: 16:45 24 February 2010

CREATION of a new National Nature Reserve (NNR) is being formally announced in Suffolk today following the success of two pioneering habitat projects.

CREATION of a new National Nature Reserve (NNR) is being formally announced in Suffolk today following the success of two pioneering habitat projects.

Designation of the Suffolk Coast NNR - covering nearly 2,500 acres of countryside in three nature reserves - is a reflection of the growing importance of the coastal area for wildlife.

The designation has been made by English Nature, the Government's wildlife adviser.

The new NNR includes the Hen Reedbeds, near Southwold, a 100-acre wetland area restored and enhanced by the Suffolk Wildlife Trust during the past three years.

It has already attracted the rare bittern as well as marsh harriers and other uncommon birds.

Also included in the new NNR is Dingle Marshes, 630 acres of wildlife-rich grazing marsh between Dunwich and Walberswick and jointly owned by the wildlife trust and the RSPB.

The third area to be included is the 1,660 acre Walberswick-Minsmere reedbed which already has NNR status. Much of this area is owned by Sir Charles Blois and is managed by English Nature.

Julian Roughton, Suffolk Wildlife Trust director, said the Suffolk coast was a wonderful place for wildlife and people and a "near wilderness experience" could be enjoyed in the area covered by the new NNR.

"The area is important for special species such as the otter, water vole and bittern, but also hosts a huge variety of other fabulous plants and animals – there's something to see everyday," he said.

Richard Rafe , head of English Nature's Suffolk team, said one of the major problems in lowland England was the fact that many remaining wildlife sites were small and fragmented.

"Here on the Suffolk coast we have linked several thousand acres under nature conservation management with a mosaic of many different habitats supporting a wide range of species, many of which are nationally rare," he added.

A "bio race" – to celebrate the NNR designation – is due to go-ahead today.

Three teams, representing the wildlife trust, English Nature and the RSPB, will set off by bicycle with the aim of "spotting" as many species of wildlife within the NNR boundary in four hours.

Suffolk has three other NNRs – the Brecks in the north west of the county, Cavenham Heath, near Bury St Edmunds, and Benacre and Easton Broad, between Southwold and Lowestoft.

A decision on whether a new Suffolk council will pursue ‘borough’ status will not be made until at least later next year, it has been decided.

A Suffolk man has plead guilty to causing injury by dangerous driving at Ipswich Magistrates court today after a woman was left with life threatening injuries following a car crash on the A1120.

There is good news for bargain hunters in Stowmarket as a discount store bids to make a return to the town.

Fire crews from Colchester and Wivenhoe have been called out to a bedroom fire in Colchester this evening.

A ground-breaking tech company that recently relocated from Cambridge to Suffolk has been working with University of Essex researchers on technology designed to make our online data safer.

From its ‘Go Bananas’ HQ in Bury St Edmunds, this forest advanture company now employs more than 1,000 people across the UK and the US.

Multi-million pound plans to transform a Suffolk RAF base into the first permanent international site for US fighter jets have been announced.

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