England to Get Slightly Smaller
Part of the UK is going to be flooded in order to make a wildlife reserve, making my little island that little bit smaller. The area was drained 500 years ago by Dutch settlers though, so is simply returning to its natural state.
"Wallasea will become a wonderful coastal wetland full of wildlife in a unique and special landscape. We will be restoring habitats that were lost more than 400 years ago and preparing the land for sea level rise," said Graham Wynne, RSPB chief executive, "This is land that was borrowed from the sea that now the sea is reclaiming."
The area, which is for the meantime part of Essex, is 1,800 acres, and mostly farmland. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds will break the sea defences built around Wallasea Island, creating a huge area of salt marsh. The project will cost £12 million, and is the largest such undertaking in Europe. The RSPB has approval for the plan, scheduled to start in two years, but must now raise the necessary funds.
"We will have a landscape of marshes, islands, lagoons and creeks, little more than 20 inches deep at high tide. Wallasea is one island now but was once five separate pieces of land. We will restore these ancient divisions and each new island will have its own tidal control," said Mark Dixon, project manager. ::The Guardian ::Picture Source