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Hampshire County Council purchased this beautiful area of coastline between 1973 and 2006 to protect its unique historical and and wildlife heritage. The reserve covers nearly 200 Ha (500 acres) between the mouth of the Lymington river and the village of Keyhaven.
The adjacent mudflats and salt marshes outside the seawall are leased by Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust and form their Keyhaven and Pennington Marshes Reserve. Together these two reserves ensure the protection of an extensive area of coastal habitat. Both reserves lie within the New Forest National Park, recognising their importance for both wildlife and people
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