Blame the birds for promenade work

Works starts on the new Connecting Eric scheme on Morecambe sea front. Picture by Paul Heyes, Monday May 11, 2015.

Works starts on the new Connecting Eric scheme on Morecambe sea front. Picture by Paul Heyes, Monday May 11, 2015.

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Birds are being blamed for the promenade work which will continue into the height of the season.

Lancaster City Council has said the ongoing work which has ruffled a few feathers is to help preserve bird habitats.

Dubbed ‘Connecting Eric’ the aim of the £210,000 project is to make better use of the central seafront either side of the Eric Morecambe statue.

Demolition has already started on the car park and play area between Eric on Marine Road Central, in Morecambe. But residents and local businesses are up in arms over the timing of the project, including Evelyn Archer, chairman of the Winter Gardens Trust.

Evelyn said: “I can’t believe what I am seeing, I can’t believe they are doing it now.”

Lancaster City Council has said the timing is down to a timetable set out by Natural England, the government’s adviser on the natural environment.

A Lancaster City Council spokesman said: “Morecambe Bay is an incredibly important wildlife site of international importance for the numbers and species of birds that feed in the vast mud flats over winter.

“The council consulted Natural England and was advised construction work so close to shoreline should be undertaken between April and 
September in order to minimise disturbance to birds and so protect the rich biodiversity.”

Natural England outline areas which fall under Special Areas of Conservation or Special Protection Areas, these should be surveyed for risks to wildlife. The resort falls under these.

Natural England were unavailable for comment when the Guardian went to press.