What is a Local Nature Reserve?
Local Nature Reserves are on council-owned land and are declared by Council in partnership with Natural England. Councils manage Local Nature Reserves to protect and enhance biodiversity, and provide opportunities for learning and enjoyment of nature. St. Mary’s Island was designated a Local Nature Reserve by North Tyneside Council in 1992.
St. Mary’s Island makes up an important part of the surrounding Local Nature Reserve and supports a Grey seal haul out site and an important roosting and foraging ground for a wide variety of birds. All animals depend on places to rest and feed and disturbance to them at these times can seriously affect their wellbeing and survival. St. Mary’s Island is also an important roosting and feeding ground for a diverse of range of birds, some of which are in serious decline and protected by law. Being able to use this habitat could be a matter of life and death for them.
“Nature reserves are places where wildlife is protected and undisturbed.”
The Wildlife Trust
“Public authorities in England have a duty to have regard to conserving biodiversity.”
Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act