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Enjoy our resort – but not at the expense of our birdlife

1:36 pm, Thursday, 4th April 2024 - 1 month ago


Everyone is looking forward to getting out and about on the beach now that Spring is here, but please remember that Cleethorpes and the Humber Estuary is an internationally important place for wetland birds and now is a prime time for nesting.

North East Lincolnshire Council is urging everyone who visits the coastline to observe safety measures to protect nesting birds from disturbance, particularly along the mudflats and the saltmarsh, including the Tetney Marshes.

Birds can be disturbed in a variety of ways and, whilst a leadless dog chasing a stick may seem harmless, birds see a dog as a predator and automatically take flight, causing them to leave the nest and putting eggs and fledgling birds at risk.

Cleethorpes is also a hugely popular seaside resort and a destination of choice for water sport enthusiasts. There are few other places where protected natural habitat is so close to a busy tourist destination.

Bird disturbance within the protected areas is an offence and visitors are urged to avoid waterborne activity in the saltmarsh, specifically paddleboarders and jet skiers, and for water users to maintain a distance from the saltmarsh, particularly at high tide, to avoid disturbing birds.

Several species of birds make their home in the salt marsh, including oystercatchers and bar-tailed godwits. A number of these birds are internationally important and have special protected status.

Preventing birds from feeding or roosting and causing them to take flight is a criminal offence and offenders can be prosecuted under the EU Birds Directive.

Most people respect the area but a minority are causing a nuisance and disturbing the rare birds as they roost.

Beach visitors are asked to help protect the birds by following these simple steps:

  • Keep to the designated footpaths
  • Keep dogs under control
  • Anyone using the coastline for water sports must stay away from the salt marsh and sand banks.
  • Dog owners are reminded that dogs are banned from the main tourist beach, between the North Prom and the Leisure Centre, from Good Friday until the end of September.

The Humber Estuary remains a unique and diverse habitat. In 1988, when its importance was recognised, the area was designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), which is protected under European law. This includes Special Protection Area (SPA) status, as well being a Special Area for Conservation (SAC) and European Marine Site.

It is also recognised by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands as a wetland of international importance.

The estuary’s habitats, and the birds, insects and animals that live in it, are protected by UK law.

Find out more about the birds and the role Cleethorpes plays in the East Atlantic Flyway by watching the Humber Nature Partnership’s Wild Humber video at

Find out more about Life on the Saltmarsh by visiting

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