Wallasea Island Wild Coast Project Completes a Significant Step as Sea Walls Opened for Tidal Entry


Published Date : Jul 13, 2015

A new manmade wonder, planned to be made in Europe, is nearing its completion towards a significant step. The project will be the world’s largest nature reserve that has been made by humans. The reserve will be formed as a transformation from farmland into a marshland. Material that was excavated during the Crossrail project is being used for forming the coastal marshland.

The project, named Wallasea Island Wild Coast, is making use of nearly 3m tonnes of excavated material to raise, by an average 1.5m height, a certain portion of the Essex island for creating lagoons across the farmland’s vast 670 hectares stretch – an area that is more than double the size of the London City. The project is aimed at restoring the marshland to its state before 400 years.

The project is an initiative of the RSPB, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. The project, that is estimated to finish in a 20-years-long span, completed its first phase at the weekend when new sea walls were opened successfully to let the tidal flow enter in the marshland.

It is estimated that nearly 500 years ago, there was an intertidal salty marshland that had a stretch of nearly 30,000 hectares along the Essex coast and had a vital wildlife habitat. The marshland is also known to have had an excellent sea defense. Now, only as much as 2,500 hectares of the marshland remains in place.

The project aiming to restore the marshland will be completed by 2025 and will have achieved the plan of developing nearly salty marshland in nearly 192 hectares, mudflats in nearly 148 hectares, and shallow saline lagoon in 76 acres. The project had started back in the year 2006.

Once completed, the project would be an excellent example of how such a low-lying coastal area can rise and deliver a vast set of benefits to the wildlife. The reserve will be host and a perfect habitat for a number of bird species.