A new wetland reserve in UK

21 September 2012

A 670-hectare island in the United Kingdom, the Wallasea Island is being transformed from farmland into wetland. The island will be transformed into marshes, lagoons and mudflats to attract birds and other wildlife, and create a new reserve.

For hundreds of years, ancient sea walls held back the tides to allow this land to be used as farmland. But in 2006, small sections of sea wall were breached to let the waters flood back in, and more will be breached from 2015 onwards.

4.5 million tonnes of earth excavated from the Crossrail project, for which a 21km (13 mile) tunnel is being bored through London will be used to raise the site, which is currently about 2m below sea level.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) reserve is due to be completed by 2020, and will cost more than 60 millions Euro in total.

The RSPB hopes the wetland will attract species such as the spoonbill and Kentish plover, as well as boost numbers of geese, wigeon and curlew. Saltwater fish such as bass, herring and flounder should thrive in the coastal waters.

More on the Wallasea reserve project >>