Suffolk Coastal NFU and Lovewell Blake host farm walk on Benacre Estate
By: Marketing Team Date: 28 June 2016
Over 70 members of the farming community visited The Benacre Estate in Suffolk for a farm walk and barbecue organised by Suffolk Coastal NFU and Lovewell Blake.
Starting at Benacre beach, the visitors were shown examples of the coastal erosion and how this was affecting the coast and estate - over 400 metres of land has been lost in recent years and 30 acres alone has been lost in the last year.
The walk then proceeded around Benacre Broad which is now only separated from the sea by a narrow band of sand and shingle, with salt water ingress becoming an increasing problem despite the building of some bunds in recent years. Adam Burrows from English Nature works, which works closely with the estate, explained how the changes from fresh to salt water environment can totally change the ecology and wildlife of the area. There has been significant changes in the local bittern population in recent years.
The visitors then walked through some of Benacre’s significant woodland areas, many of which were devastated by the 1987 storms. A 25 year woodland plan is now in place to regenerate and enhance the estate woodland. However, an increasing deer population is now having to be managed, with some culling in order to protect the undergrowth for the resident bird populations. Experimentation with deer fencing has highlighted the effect the grazing deer have.
The evening ended with a barbecue of locally donated meat.
Pictured above - Visitors set off for Benacre beach at the start of the walk.