Local News from North & South Tyneside

Protecting Coastal Habitats in South Tyneside

A project to protect coastal habitats and wildlife has launched in South Tyneside.

COAST South Tyneside enables residents and visitors to enjoy the Borough’s coastline while also helping to protect and raise awareness of coastal wildlife through events and communities working together to support nature.

Councillor Ernest Gibson, Lead Member for Neighbourhoods and Climate Change, said: “We’re encouraging people not only to enjoy and explore our stunning coastline but learn about the nature in this area and help to protect our important coastal habitats and wildlife.

“This is a great way for people to get involved and help make a positive difference, understand the human impact on nature and support wildlife to thrive. That way we can ensure this area and coastal habitats can be enjoyed for generations to come.”

South Tyneside Council Cllr Ernest Gibson.

As part of the launch, a new website at www.southtyneside.coastproject.org has been developed to give nature lovers information about the project, an insight into the local wildlife as well as details of upcoming events for people to get involved.

For the next event, COAST South Tyneside will join COAST Sunderland to guide bird walks during a Seascapes’ half term fun event taking place this Friday 23 and Saturday 24 Februaryfrom 11am until 3pm, at Whitburn Coastal Conservation Centre, based at Souter Lighthouse. The bird walk takes place (11.10am until 12.40pm). It will give visitors an opportunity to find out more about coastal wildlife and how they can help it thrive.

Visitors are advised to be suitably dressed for the weather with sturdy footwear. Under 18s must be accompanied by an adult.

The Council’s Coastal Ecology Officer Lauren Brooks will be working along the coastline, talking to residents and visitors, delivering events and monitoring wildlife.

The South Tyneside coast is made up of rare and important habitats that provide shelter and resources for a variety of animals. During the colder months, thousands of birds return to the northeast coast from their summer breeding grounds.

The importance of the area is recognised through international conservation designations for both plant life and wading birds, giving the area legal protections, for example on planning matters.

Councillor Gibson added: “Wildlife and birds in particular use our coastline to feed and rest, particularly over the winter. The presence of people and dogs can threaten their survival, preventing them from successfully breeding and reducing already threatened populations.

“Through the new COAST South Tyneside project, we can raise awareness and increase understanding among residents and visitors of the impact of humans and their pets on coastal habitats and look at what we can do to support wildlife to thrive.”

Protecting coastal marine life, plant species, birds and animals that are native to the coast supports the Council’s Pledge for the Coast. It also comes almost a year after the Council declared an Ecological Emergency with a promise to protect and enhance the Borough’s natural environment, as well as its ocean recovery declaration made in January 2022.

For further information about Coast South Tyneside visit the new website at www.southtyneside.coastproject.org or follow Coast South Tyneside on Facebook and Instagram.