The North East Lindsey Drainage Board takes its environmental duties very seriously and strives to safeguard and enhance conservation interests within their district.
The Board is a supporter of the Lincolnshire Biodiversity Action Plan and has carried out environmental surveys on many of its watercourses. Surveys have found active water vole colonies in 70% of watercourses, and in most cases, drain maintenance is carried out from one bank in order to ensure their survival.
Areas of specific interest are as follows:
Far Ings National Nature Reserve
The Board is responsible for managing the Far Ings Drain at Barton upon Humber. The drain runs parallel to the Far Ings National Nature Reserve and both the drain and reserve are designated as a site of special scientific interest. Opportunities have been taken in providing connections and water management of the site and a Water Level Management Plan was implemented in 1998.
The Reserve is owned by the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust and when purchased in 1983, extended to 41 hectares with a further 14 hectares purchased in 2002 and four new pits dug. The new pits provide a significant additional water storage area and thus a flood relief facility. This has been a ‘win-win’ project for all involved and will continue to be so for the wildlife in the area.
Cleethorpes Country Park
In 1987, Humberside Land Developers purchased 20 hectares of building land at Whitehall Farm, Cleethorpes. The development has been phased with some 400 houses now constructed.
Instead of disposing of the surface water run-off from the development direct into the Humber via a pumping station, North East Lincolnshire Council asked for the Board’s co-operation in pursuing the idea of a Country Park. Following agreement between all parties, a three hectare detention lagoon was constructed to balance the flows from the development, and a weir controls the rate of flow back into the Board’s watercourse.
The Cleethorpes Country Park is now well established and comprises of woodland, grassland, wildflowers, grazing and the lake as the main feature. Managed by Rangers, the park is a huge success and provides a haven for wildlife as well as an amenity for residents and visitors. Fishing and other amenities are available and the variety of wild flowers can be spectacular during the summer months.
The project is a marvellous example of public bodies and developers working together for the benefit of wildlife and the local community.
Cleethorpes Country Park is situated off the min-roundabout where Park Lane, Humberston Road and North Sea Lane meet.
Habrough Marsh Conservation Project
The Habrough Marsh Scheme carried out by the Board in 1998 released 100 hectares of land for development within the totally industrialised area of Immingham Docks. An additional benefit from the scheme was to take advantage of the three newly created flood storage areas in which to create habitats.
The Board in co-operation with Associated British Ports engaged the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust to develop the habitats in the area. The potential of the lagoons was assessed and during the first year they were already developing a variety of natural habitats. Two of the sites were rapidly becoming saline reed beds whilst the third was developing into a wet meadow. The results of the first survey exceeded our expectations with Lapwing, Dunlin, Shelduck, Corlew and Common Sandpiper being recorded together with sightings of Kingfishers and Heron. A total of 41 species of bird were recorded and nine species of butterfly. Some 200 native trees were planted by the Trust in locations which did not impair the flood storage function of the lagoons.
During 1999 a bird hide was erected by Associated British Ports and is used primarily by their employees.