By the mid-nineteenth century, there were horse races on the beach, hotels nearby and many other attractions. Freiston Shore was once considered highly fashionable and visitors used to come after the London Season staying at the two large hotels.
Over time, an increase in natural growth led to the development of a salt marsh, with fewer visitors arriving at the Shore. The once popular tourist destination was now less frequented.
Hard sea defences protected the agricultural land from the sea. Modern thinking, concerned about the risk of coastal flooding, implemented a process of Managed Realignment. This process took place in 2003.
The land behind the sea defences, some 66 hectares, was able to to re-establish itself as a tidal salt marsh and act as an extra sea defence.
This new marsh, together with another, designed to be managed as a brackish marsh with lagoons, now forms an RSPB reserve. Freiston Shore is a good place for seeing avocets, redshanks, ringed plovers, wheatears and marsh harriers in spring and summer. In the autumn and winter, migrating waders such as redshanks, turnstones, dunlins, and waterfowl such as Dark-bellied Brent Goose, and wigeon can be seen.
At Freiston Shore you can get excellent views of waterbirds on the salt water lagoon, especially at high tide when wading birds roost, sometimes in their thousands.
Summer is a good time to see nesting wading birds, including avocets and ringed plovers. In winter, brent geese congregate along with ducks such as wigeons, pintails, teals and shelducks. Tree sparrows, yellowhammers and skylarks are common around the reserve throughout the year.
The saltmarsh is good for watching hunting birds of prey, while eiders and red-breasted mergansers and other diving ducks can be seen offshore during winter.