New boardwalk for South Tyneside nature reserve

A new boardwalk is helping visitors get closer to nature.

A new boardwalk is helping visitors get closer to nature.

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A new walkway is aiming to help visitors take a step closer to nature.

National Trust rangers and volunteers have created a boardwalk across the wetlands at Whitburn Coastal Park.

We want to give people the chance to explore the area.

Dougie Holden

The 38-metre long wooden path will allow visitors a close up view of a reedbed and the wildlife that has made it home there – including birds and dragonflies.

Dougie Holden, National Trust ranger at Souter Lighthouse and The Leas, said: “It’s been really satisfying to install a boardwalk in the nature reserve. It will allow us to reach parts of the reedbed we couldn’t get to before, making site management a lot easier and more effective in the long term.

“We couldn’t have done it without the hard work and expertise of our volunteers John Brown, Bob Freeman, Vinny Wilson and Jason Thompson, who have such a passion for nature conservation.

“The nature reserve is an extremely important and sensitive habitat, so public access is usually strictly limited, but we do want to give people the opportunity to explore the area and appreciate its wildlife.”

Since acquiring the lease of Whitburn Coastal Park in 1999, the National Trust has worked alongside the local Coastal Conservation Group to restore natural habitats.

In recent years tree planting, wetland creation, the installation of viewing screens, bird feeders and new ponds have been put in place thanks to Lottery funding.

The first free guided walks will take place in August. For details visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/souterlighthouseandtheleas or follow Souter Lighthouse and The Leas on Facebook for the latest updates.