In February this year our Lincolnshire team installed a series of new fences in carefully-chosen sites across the dunes at Saltfleetby-Theedlethorpe.
The purpose of these new fences is to protect certain areas, including some of the pools that are used as key breeding areas for the dunes’ population of rare natterjack toads.
The fences are a really simple and easy way to keep people, dogs, ponies and our grazing livestock out of the pools, giving the natterjacks a better chance at thriving in this landscape. And they also mean that, with these small areas now protected, we can extend the areas of the dunes which our grazing cattle can roam.
These cattle are play a really important role in managing the vegetation on the dunes. As more and more shrubs and larger plants grow and put down roots, the dunes become more stable. As the plants grow nitrogen is also deposited in the previously nutrient-poor soil, allowing even more plants to grow. So, instead of the site rangers using mechanical mowers to stop excessive plant growth, we use cattle as a more natural way to keep vegetation low – they’re brilliant at munching away at the plants that creep up on the dunes, which allows smaller wildflowers to flourish and keeps our dunes rich in biodiversity!
Find out more about the work that we’re doing in Lincolnshire here.