Amenity and Accessibility Fund Case Studies:
Photo credit: Lou Chapman
With support from the Amenity & Accessibility Fund, a new 450-metre-long boardwalk and extended bird hide has been opened at RSPB Minsmere in Suffolk, helping to make nature more accessible to visitors.
Since 2017, the Suffolk & Essex Coast & Heaths National Landscape has provided grant funding that contributed to the installation of a new easy-access boardwalk, a hide extension and habitat improvement works, as well as working in partnership with RSPB Minsmere to secure significant funds from the National Grid Landscape Enhancement Initiative.
The new raised boardwalk offers a smooth route and stunning views across the reedbed on the way to the East Hide, and the now extended hide includes more accessible bird viewing across the enhanced scrape for those who may previously have found getting up close to nature at the reserve difficult.
The East Hide is a hotspot for viewing birds at RSPB Minsmere, overlooking the coastal lagoons which provide vital habitat for a variety of birds including avocets. black tailed godwit and many other wading birds and rare ducks can be seen at different times of year. As it winds through the reedbed, the new path is likely to be a great opportunity to get great views of bearded tits.
RSPB Minsmere is home to some of the UK’s rarest wildlife due to the rich and varied landscapes within the reserve, including reedbeds, wet grasslands, woodland, shingle vegetation and lowland heath. Lucky visitors may even spot otters and water voles in the reedbed pools, adders in the grasslands and dunes, and marsh harriers overhead.
Funding for the Amenity and Accessibility Fund is provided by EDF, with an initial one-off payment of £120,000 made when construction of a Dry Fuel Store (DFS) for spent nuclear fuel at Sizewell B power station began, in addition to further annual payments by EDF of £20,000. The total awarded to local projects now exceeds £300,000.