Presentation on theme: "Habitat Creation on the Severn Estuary Lyn Jenkins Flood and Coastal Risk Management South west Region Habitat Creation Programme."— Presentation transcript:
Habitat Creation on the Severn Estuary Lyn Jenkins Flood and Coastal Risk Management South west Region Habitat Creation Programme
Making Space for Water Storms and seal level rise = unsustainable sea defences Cannot defend everywhere Focus on properties
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
Legal obligations: Habitats Regulations Apply to all Natura 2000 sites: SPAs for birds, SACs for habitats Regulation 61: Appropriate Assessment of plans and projects
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
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
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.
Severn estuary: habitat loss Sea level rise – 2600 ha loss over the next 100 years 2026 – 700ha lost 2056 – 1300ha 2106 –2600ha
Severn estuary: habitat loss ¾ mudflat and sandflat (10% of resource) ¼ saltmarsh (40% of resource) Saltmarsh is priority for habitat creation
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
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.
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
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 …..
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
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
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
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
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
Living with a changing coast
A vision for the future: Steart
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