Nature reserve starts to form at Medmerry site

A NEW nature reserve is about to be created as the final stages of the coastal protection scheme at Medmerry are carried out.

As the effects of the realignment scheme begin to kick in, a new saltmarsh habitat will be created for wildlife such as birds, water voles, great crested newts and reptiles.

The Environment Agency’s realignment scheme, which will protect homes in Selsey and Bracklesham, will allow nature lovers to use new footpaths, viewpoints and cycleways created by the project.

The site is designed to help to replace important wildlife habitats which have been lost around the Solent because of necessary flood prevention works.

The Environment Agency has opened the breaches this week, so water will start to enter the realigned area very slowly and existing plant life is expected to die off as salt water replaces fresh water.

Wildlife will begin to populate the area over the next couple of years as it matures and fully establishes itself as a natural haven.

Once the breach works have been completed, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) will lease the site from the Environment Agency and will be mainly responsible for its management.

The new footpaths, bridleways and viewpoints created by the Medmerry project are expected to be complete and ready to use by November.