to create UK's largest wetlands
wildlife habitat are approved
permission has this week been granted to create one of the UK's
largest areas of new wildlife habitat, to be located on the Steart
Peninsula near Burnham-On-Sea.
the next two years 400 hectares of the Steart Peninsula will be
turned into wildlife-rich habitats including saltmarsh and freshwater
multi-million pound project will see the construction of wetland
habitats comprising intertidal and freshwater areas, set-back
banks as flood defences, improvements to existing defences, new
walkways, observation points and hides, plus car parking and landscaping.
councillor Anne Fraser, portfolio holder for Economic Strategy,
told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "This is really exciting news. The
scheme will be a great asset to the area - not only for birds,
but for people to get out and about and admire the natural beauty
of this landscape. Through careful design and planning, there
will be considerable flood defences built in to the scheme in
a natural and complementary way."
project will create a major new wetland, including some 194 hectares
of intertidal salt marsh, 67 hectares of transitional brackish
habitat, 106 hectares of coastal grazing marsh, 17 hectares of
brackish and saline lagoons, 8 hectares of freshwater lagoon,
12 hectares of reed beds and various ponds and ditches.
will benefit plant diversity, animals such as water birds, and
amphibians with the aim of offsetting the losses of habitat that
are predicted to occur elsewhere in the Severn estuary as a result
of rising sea levels, as we recently reported here.
the project the Environment Agency will be able both to manage
current flood risks to people and property and provide more opportunity
for those living and working in the area to adapt to sea level
rise and plan for the future. The site will be managed on behalf
of the Environment Agency by the Wetlands & Wildlife Trust,"
Sedgemoor District Council spokeswoman Claire Faun told Burnham-On-Sea.com.
Dick Best, from the Steart Residents Group, said local people
have welcomed the scheme: "Although this is a habitat creation
scheme, some issues are an absolute priority to us - the safety
of our homes now and into the future, the access to the village
and the preservation of the tranquillity of the peninsula. The
creation of this threatened habitat is to be welcomed and I look
forward eagerly to seeing the results."
District Council has this week given delegated permission for
the project. There had been extensive consultation, both with
landowners and residents in the area, and there were no objections
from the statutory consultees.