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Holiday-makers and residents urged to watch video and protect sand dunes

PUBLISHED: 12:06 30 August 2019 | UPDATED: 12:06 30 August 2019

Campaign launched to protect Norfolk sand dunes. Picture shows Horsey seals. Pictures: Norfolk County Council

Campaign launched to protect Norfolk sand dunes. Picture shows Horsey seals. Pictures: Norfolk County Council

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Beachgoers have been urged to help protect Norfolk's sand dunes by following a few useful tips.

Campaign launched to protect Norfolk sand dunes. Horsey dunes. Pictures: Norfolk County CouncilCampaign launched to protect Norfolk sand dunes. Horsey dunes. Pictures: Norfolk County Council

Sand dunes play a vital role in protecting people from floods by creating natural barriers to storms, as well as being home to a wide range of plants and animals.

But with more people visiting Norfolk's coast, dunes can become damaged.

Norfolk County Council (NCC) is carrying out trials along the north Norfolk coast using cutting edge science and tech to develop a health checking tool for Marram grass, one of the most commonly-found plants in sand dunes.

The project also involves businesses and councils, with guided walks and information stands to help educate visitors to the area.

Campaign launched to protect Norfolk sand dunes. Horsey beach. Pictures: Norfolk County CouncilCampaign launched to protect Norfolk sand dunes. Horsey beach. Pictures: Norfolk County Council

And the council has launched a campaign to get holidaymakers and residents to protect and respect our sand dunes.

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A video has been produced to highlight what to remember when in and around sand dunes. This includes keeping dogs on leads of two metres or less, following signed paths, respecting nesting birds and other wildlife like seals, and not having barbeques in the dunes.

Andy Grant, NCC's cabinet member for environment, said: "With more than eight million people visiting the north Norfolk coast alone last year, it's more important than ever we help protect our sand dunes.

"Many may not know that most of our sand dunes are National Nature Reserves and part of a wider network of areas that are environmentally protected."

Tourism is worth about £505m in north Norfolk, and it supports 11,000 jobs.

The trials are running in Holme, Brancaster, Holkham and Horsey/Winterton. Guided dune walks have been run to explain the history of the areas and the process dunes go through as they form, along with stands explaining the natural ecology working with Norfolk Biodiversity Information Service. There will be more guided walks, as well as citizen science and family-friendly events in the future.

The best places to see dunes and their characteristic wildlife are between Burnham Overy Staithe and Holkham, and at Winterton Dunes National Nature Reserve.

The campaign is part of the €2.1m Endure project, working with partners in Belgium, France and the Netherlands.

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