The Novartis Ings has now been completed near the shore of the South Bank of the Humber and has been formally unveiled at a short ceremony today by the Mayor of North East Lincolnshire, Cllr Steve Beasant, along with other Councillors, and representatives from Novartis, Solenis, funding partners and a range of interested groups who all helped to create the site.
The site has been developed, thanks to funding from ERDF and the Greater Lincolnshire LEP, and support from Novartis Grimsby to create a temporary stopping off point for wildlife on their migration journeys where the waders in particular can feed on the very rich invertebrate food source on the mudflats.
Large numbers of golden plover, lapwing, black tailed godwit, curlew and others also stay all winter to benefit from the relatively mild climate combined with a reliable food source revealed twice a day by the tide. Eventually most migrate back to their Northern breeding grounds in the spring.
More than 500 curlew have been counted in recent weeks using the site, and as it becomes established over the next few years, just as more people use motorway service stations when they’re opened, more birds will use it as a haven.
The aim of the site is to provide a haven for wildlife ahead of future potential development in the area. Companies looking to expand or invest in the area would have previously been required to obtain land for wildlife to offset their developments as a planning requirement, which can delay developments for months and can be hugely expensive. Thanks to the mitigation project, the land is ready and waiting for them.
Cllr Philip Jackson, Leader of North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “This is a fantastic site. This element of our industrial investment strategy has already been praised for leading the way for future developments. Along with our other site, the nearby Cress Marsh, we’re protecting the natural environment, mitigating the impact of climate change and reducing barriers for new businesses investing in our area.”
Ian Johnson, Managing Director, Novartis Grimsby, said: “We are proud to leave this important environmental legacy to our local community. This will permanently mark the 72 years that Novartis Grimsby has been manufacturing in the local area when the site closes in 2023.”
Halina Davies, Partnerships and Programmes Executive Manager at Greater Lincolnshire LEP said: “We are very pleased to have supported this important mitigation site, not only will the scheme ensure protection of our natural environment, but importantly will enable further development and economic growth to progress the South Humber Industrial Investment Plan and support expansion of our major South Humber ports.”
The site was created following the transfer of 35 acres of land, free of charge, from the pharmaceutical company, Novartis Grimsby. This generous gesture was their lasting legacy to the local community after manufacturing at the site next door for more than 70 years. Land formerly owned by Solenis completed the total site area.