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21st November 2014 | Today's High Tides | 11:30 - 4.98m | 23:49 - 5.18m | Full Tide Tables

Why Wallasea?

Wallasea Island was formerly low lying marsh and saltings, enclosed and drained around 16th century. It is productive but not top quality agricultural land and it suffers from shortage of fresh water. Although the landowners constructed a fine new seawall along the northern shore of the island a few years ago, the seawalls along the east and south shores of the island are now in places in poor condition and the value of the land they protect does not meet the Environment Agency’s criteria for continuing flood defence. It is likely that if nothing is done the walls would eventually fail, leading to serious and unpredictable flooding. The volumes of water involved would be very large (about 11 million cu.m of seawater twice daily on Spring tides) in addition to the approximately 70 million cu. m. flowing in and out of the River Crouch twice daily at present. The effects of this additional flow could damage the regime of the river.

The RSPB’s project will reduce the additional flow by partially filling the island with material, limiting harmful additional flows.

It will also create about 680 ha. of additional conservation habitat including tidal creeks and lagoons, some freshwater lagoons and areas of regulated tidal exchange in which the flow of saltwater will be carefully controlled, and compensate for losses of natural intertidal habitats elsewhere along the East Coast. A fairly short length of new seawall will provide flood defence to the Farm, cottages, marina, commercial wharf and Holiday Home site on the west end of the island. The project is seen as an excellent example of ‘managed reallignment’ of the flood defences and a sustainable solution to Wallasea’s flood defence problems, while yielding major gains for conservation and species diversity.

Wallasea Wildcoast - Artists Impression

Wallasea Wildcoast - Artists Impression