Cleethorpes Lakeside and Local Nature Reserve given Natural England accreditation
COUNCIL officials are "thrilled" that an area of natural beauty has received national recognition.
Cleethorpes Boating Lake and the sand dunes – known as Cleethorpes Lakeside and Local Nature Reserve – have been given national accreditation by Natural England, a body responsible for protecting and improving the natural environment.
It will now join Weelsby Woods on a list of 36 parks which Natural England promotes on its website, testament to the park's excellent facilities.
Councillor Mick Burnett, portfolio holder for tourism and culture, said: "We do have some excellent facilities in Cleethorpes but sometimes I don't feel that we shout about them enough.
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"I am thrilled that we have got this accreditation, which gives this area the recognition it deserves and might tempt people to Cleethorpes when they see it on the Natural England website.
"It is also testament to all the hard work put in by staff to maintain this area."
Sue Marshall, operations manager for cultural services with North East Lincolnshire Council (NELC), said it could even be a message to local people.
"There are people who live in Grimsby that have never even been into Cleethorpes and if they have, never passed the leisure centre.
"Awards like this are great publicity and a chance to remind people that the Boating Lake is here.
"Cleethorpes is more than a bucket and spade town and we are trying to extend the season by showing off all the beautiful green areas," she said.
Cleethorpes is well recognised as a regional tourist destination but it also has numerous other areas to boast about.
The saltmarsh is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and designated a National Nature Reserve as it is home to a huge number of animals, plants and fish which thrive in the salty conditions.
Cleethorpes is also the only coastal tourist destination that the Meridian Line passes through.
The Cleethorpes Lakeside and Local Nature Reserve will now join the growing list of attractions that make the resort more than just a beach town.
Mike Sleight, ecology officer for NELC, said: "The great thing about this award is that we didn't have to do anything for it, it was just a case of being recognised for what we have.
"This is a natural area which people should enjoy and appreciate.
"The sound of the birds and the beauty of the wildlife are scientifically proven to counteract the stresses of everyday life – it's a very calming atmosphere."
Jeff Lunn, Natural England's area manager, said: "We are delighted to award Cleethorpes Lakeside and Local Nature Reserve the Country Park accreditation.
"This a beautiful, important and well looked-after site and will be a valuable asset to the community and secure wildlife habitat."
To find out more about Natural England's list of Country Parks, visit www.naturalengland.org.uk