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From issue:   Issue:   British Wildlife 26.6 August 2015

Wallasea: a wetland designed for the future

By - Malcolm Ausden, Mark Dixon, Colin Scott, Rachel Fancy, Graham Hirons, Jeff Kew, Phil Mcloughlin, John Sharpe, Chris Tyas

The RSPB’s Wallasea Island Wild Coast Project (hereafter ‘Wallasea’), in Essex, will be by far the largest (670ha) coastal wetland ever constructed in Britain. Its design includes a range of features aimed at providing valuable habitat for wildlife, both now and under a range of future sea levels and climatic conditions. In this article, the authors describe the evolution of the project, the thinking underlying the design of the site, and the practicalities of constructing such a large and complex wetland. As this article goes to print, the first area of intertidal habitat at Wallasea will have just been opened to tidal flooding. 

The RSPB, in 1999, identified Wallasea Island as a potential site for re-creating intertidal habitat. This was with the aim of replacing intertidal habitat lost through past land-claim, and intertidal habitat expected to be lost in the future through coastal squeeze caused by rising sea levels. 

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"British Wildlife is the pulsating heart of the UK nature conservation movement."

Matthew Oates, National Trust

"The most important and informative publication on wildlife of our times"

Michael McCarthy, The Independent

"Packed with readable, thoughtful, up to date articles; written by ecologists and naturalists for ecologists and naturalists"

Nick Baker, Presenter and Naturalist