Wallasea Island, England—natural infrastructure restoration

Wallasea Island project takes significant step forward as sea walls breached

Scheme will use 3m tonnes of excavated material from Crossrail tunnels to help create lagoons across an area of marshland twice the size of the City of London

Caroline Davies the Guardian UK Sunday 12 July 2015 19.01 EDT Last modified on Friday 25 September 2015 11.10 EDT

The creation of Europe’s largest man-made nature reserve, which will transform farmland into coastal marshland using material excavated during the Crossrail project, is one significant step nearer completion.

Wallasea Island Wild Coast project is using more than 3m tonnes of material excavated from London to raise part of the Essex island by an average of 1.5m, to create lagoons across 670 hectares of farmland – an area more than twice the size of the City of London – and restore the marshland it once was 400 years ago.

The first phase of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) 20-year project was completed at the weekend, when new sea walls were successfully breached to allow for tidal flow into the marshland.

Five hundred years ago, there were 30,000 hectares of intertidal saltmarsh, a crucial wildlife habitat and effective sea defence, along the Essex coast. Today, there are just 2,500 hectares….

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