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Habitat Creation on the Severn Estuary Lyn Jenkins Flood and Coastal Risk Management South west Region Habitat Creation Programme.

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Presentation on theme: "Habitat Creation on the Severn Estuary Lyn Jenkins Flood and Coastal Risk Management South west Region Habitat Creation Programme."— Presentation transcript:

1 Habitat Creation on the Severn Estuary Lyn Jenkins Flood and Coastal Risk Management South west Region Habitat Creation Programme

2 Making Space for Water Storms and seal level rise = unsustainable sea defences  Cannot defend everywhere  Focus on properties

3 DEFRA targets for operating authorities: No net loss of biodiversity Habitat loss and gain balance sheet Create 800 ha of new habitat over  300 ha of saltmarsh and mudflats

4 Legal obligations: Habitats Regulations Apply to all Natura 2000 sites:  SPAs for birds,  SACs for habitats Regulation 61: Appropriate Assessment of plans and projects

5 Habitat Regulations Assessment Required for SMP, FCRM strategy and individual schemes Agreed with NE and CCW Signed off by Sec of State and WAG Formal process IROPI Compensatory habitat Circular 06/05 on biological and geological conservation

6 Legal duties - Compensatory habitats  Maintain extent and integrity of international sites  Mitigate effects where possible  Compensate for direct impacts of flood defence work and for coastal squeeze (sea level rise) Direct effects 10’s hectares, indirect effects of coastal squeeze ’s hectares

7 Severn estuary: FCRM strategy  140+ kms of flood defences  Coastal squeeze on SPA, SAC and RAMSAR  Legally required to safeguard European sites  Compensate for coastal squeeze losses  Identify managed Realignment sites through FCRM strategy.

8 Severn estuary: habitat loss Sea level rise – 2600 ha loss over the next 100 years  2026 – 700ha lost  2056 – 1300ha  2106 –2600ha

9 Severn estuary: habitat loss ¾ mudflat and sandflat (10% of resource) ¼ saltmarsh (40% of resource) Saltmarsh is priority for habitat creation

10 Displacing freshwater habitats Bird interest not just confined to designated site Dependent on supporting habitats:  Freshwater grazing marsh behind sea defences  High tide roosts Maintain ecological integrity of site

11 FCRM strategy: possible realignments Identifies potential sites  Unsustainable defences  Topography  Minimal impact on property and infrastructure  Ecological suitability Approximately 40 potential sites identified so far but few large sites.

12 Role of the RHCP  Habitat Creation programme in each EA region  Work with Wales and Midlands to identify viable sites  Work out how they can be delivered Current target is to create 650 ha

13 Managed realignment or no active intervention?  Unpopular policies – protect at all costs  Landowners unwilling to accept land loss  Do we walk away or manage the process?  Realising opportunities through purchase  High Level Stewardship  Link to sites to gain multiple benefits – access recreation, landscape …..

14 Managed realignment: Incentives  Agri environment schemes up to £700 /Ha for 20 years  Can buy land/property for compensatory habitats  Move freshwater marshes inland to b uild resilience

15 Steart Peninsula Bridgwater Bay, Somerset  Protected by a shingle ridge  Less than 1 in 10 year standard  Could create up to 500 ha of new habitat  Adjoins Severn estuary SAC and SPA  Strategically important

16 New approaches: regulated tidal exchange Allows controlled tidal inundation through a sluice gate  R. Exe at Goose moor  Option at Steart  Axe estuary wetlands at Seaton

17 Delivering habitat creation Not just the Environment Agency – all operating authorities Risk if we cannot find sufficient compensatory habitat then flood defence schemes will be delayed  Strategic approach  Partnership with Local authorities  Links to Local Development frameworks  Land allocations PPS 25 supplement March 2010

18 Habitat creation in practice Working with partners Local authorities have a key role:  Identifying opportunities  Developing/promoting projects  Land allocations in LDF’s  Granting planning permissions  Planning your own flood defence works  Key messages

19 Living with a changing coast

20 A vision for the future: Steart

21 Making space for Water Not just birds v people  Allowing the coastline to move  Building natural sea defences – saltmarshes  Increasing resilience  Habitat creation and wildlife benefits

22 Adapting to climate change


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