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Campaign launches to help protect Norfolk’s sand dunes

30 August 2019

Residents and holiday-makers across Norfolk are being urged to ‘Respect and Protect’ their sand dunes, with some simple tips that can help make a huge difference.

Dunes play a vital role in protecting people from floods by creating natural barriers to storms, as well as being home to a wide range of plants and animals. But with more and more people visiting Norfolk’s coast, dunes can get damaged.

Norfolk County Council is working with international partners, carrying out trials at four sites along the North Norfolk Coast using cutting edge science and tech. The project also involves local businesses and councils, with guided walks and information stands to help educate visitors to the areas.

The campaign is asking people to remember just a few key things:

  • Keep dogs on leads of two metres or less, and to follow signed paths
  • Respect nesting birds and other local wildlife like seals
  • Don’t have barbecues in the dunes

A video has been produced to highlight what to remember when in and around sand dunes, and can be viewed on the Respect and Protect webpage.

Councillor Andy Grant, Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “With more than eight million people visiting the North Norfolk coast alone last year, it’s more important than ever we help protect our sand dunes.

“Many may not know that most of our sand dunes in Norfolk are National Nature Reserves and part of a wider network of areas that are environmentally protected. I’d urge everyone to watch our video and help us Respect and Protect these vital natural defences.”

In North Norfolk alone, the value of tourism is estimated at around £505 million, which supports more than 11,000 tourism related jobs.

Councillor Andrew Jamieson, Member Champion for Walking and Cycling, said: “As member for the North Coast I am particularly pleased to see all the important work being dedicated to this project. Campaigns like this help give our many visitors to the coast an understanding of how and why we need to keep our fragile environment secure for the long term.”

The trials are running in Holme, Brancaster, Holkham and Horsey/Winterton. Guided dune walks have been run to explain the history of the areas and the process dunes go through as they form, along with stands explaining the natural ecology working with Norfolk Biodiversity Information Service. There will be more guided walks, as well as citizen science and family-friendly events in the future.

The campaign is part of the €2.1m ENDURE project co-financed by ERDF through the INTERREG Two Seas Programme 2014-2020. Norfolk County Council is the lead partner, working with partners in Belgium, France and the Netherlands. To find out more about the project, visit the website at www.endure.eu.com.

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