Lincolnshire’s Coastal Grazing Marsh

Lincolnshire’s Coastal Grazing Marsh - : D LavashLincolnshire’s Coastal Grazing Marsh - : D Lavash

Action is required now if the grazing marshes are to be conserved

Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust

360 view

Steeped in history, with a rich cultural and wildlife heritage, Lincolnshire's grazing marshes are traditionally associated with pastoral farming and are also linked to the sea and the changing coastline. The land is scattered with historic landscape features and archaeological remains.

However, very little remains of once extensive areas of traditionally managed grazing marshes and dykes and what is left is under serious threat. Action is required now if the grazing marshes are to be conserved and enjoyed by generations to come. This scheme aims to protect, maintain and enhance the key features of the area and secure its future.

This landscape-scale project will restore up to 9,000 hectares of land along the Lincolnshire coast to create a mosaic of grazing marsh and arable land and create opportunities for people and wildlife through protecting and restoring grazing land.

Our vision is that the Lincolnshire Coastal Grazing Marsh will once again have extensive grassland landscapes rich in wildlife, intersected by a distinctive pattern of water courses. Within this landscape, pastoral farming thrives and local communities have a high quality of life. The area is attractive to local people and visitors, with year-round opportunities to experience the natural and historic environment through improved access, helping to develop and sustain a vibrant rural economy.

Virtual tour by Mike McFarlane

360 view

What's happening?

Thanks to a £857,399 Landscape Partnerships Grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, a three-year partnership-led project to regenerate the Lincolnshire Coastal Grazing Marshes was launched in December 2011. The project  focuses on three target areas in East Lindsey around Burgh-le-Marsh, Saltfleetby and Huttoft.

The project supports local farmers and landowners in efforts to conserve the remaining traditional grazing marsh by providing access to grants, advice and training. Local communities will also be supported through a programme of cultural, educational and access projects. These will enable local people to discover, explore and celebrate the special quality of their own local areas and boost the local economy.

The aims are to:

  • Reverse the decline in biodiversity in the grazing marshes;
  • Ensure that any landscape and land-use change enhances and protects archaeological and historical features and contributes positively to overall landscape character;
  • Encourage the retention and re-establishment of viable pastoral farms;
  • Stimulate local economic activity through the marketing of locally produced high-quality products and services;
  • Improve the local environment for the benefit of all through enhanced access and recreation opportunities.

To achieve these aims it will be necessary to:

  • Halt the decline in pastoral farming;
  • Return arable land to pasture; and
  • Raise water tables to provide permanently wet ditches and promote seasonally flooded grasslands

Start date: 2007

Scheme area: 9,110 hectares

Trust reserves within the scheme

Gibraltar Point NNR, Heath's Meadows SSSI, Huttoft Bank Pit SSSI, Wolla Bank Pit SSSI, Wolla Bank Reedbed SSSI, Saltfleetby to Theddlethorpe NNR

This scheme is helping species including...

Water vole (the area is a national stronghold), otter, lapwing, snipe, golden plover, greater water parsnip, eels, dragonflies and damselflies

Current threats to the landscape

Agricultural intensification, coastal squeeze, tourism development, flood defence, wind farms, drainage.

This scheme is also...

Encouraging green tourism, providing opportunities to learn about traditional skills and grazing-marsh enterprises. 


Natural England, Environment Agency, Local Authorities, Internal Drainage Board, English Heritage, National Farmers' Union

To find out more

Email: | Tel: 01507 526667 | Lincolnshire Coastal Grazing Marshes

Living Landscapes

Find out more about our Living Landscape conservation work - targeting areas for landscape-scale nature conservation  and transforming places for people and wildlife.

Farming & wildlife

Find out more about our farmland conservation work with farmers and landowners, and on our own wildlife-friendly demonstration farms.