Wallasea Island Case Study: How did the Wallasea Island Project Develop?
Development of 110 hectares of new wetland at the site began in May 2005 and went through three stages. The project cost £8 million. Although this programme is an example of managed realignment of the coastline, some engineering work was still needed.
Stage 1: Completed November 2005
- A new stronger sea wall was built at the back of the site on the landward side.
- A new freshwater 'borrow dyke' was built. This formed a freshwater marsh for nesting avocet, redshank and water voles. In front of the wall there is a saltmarsh, formed by pumping mud into the area.
- A robust retaining bund wall was built to hold the imported mud for the saltmarsh and to ensure that no silt was swept back into the Crouch. The saline lagoons and a number of artificial islands were created.
- A new beach was developed inside in the North East corner of the site.
Over 700,000 tonnes of mud was pumped ashore to build the new saltmarsh. This material was dredged up at Harwich: it would have been otherwise dumped at sea. The dredger Medway Two worked 24 hours a day, seven days a week, placing up to 40,000 tonnes a week. Only clean pollutant-free material was used; it was pumped into a pipeline that ran along the top of the sea wall and into the retaining bund, where it settled out.
In May 2006 the final landscaping of the wetland took place 'in the dry'. Finally, the old sea walls were breached in several places to allow the tide to flood in and the wetland to start forming.
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Download: site development plan (High Res) (Low Res)
Download: cross-sections plan to see how the site developed
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View: panoramas of the site
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