There seemed to be a watery theme to last weekend...Firstly, we had flood warnings and high tides along the Essex coast. While Working on wallasea island one forgets that it's an island sometimes, as the causeway is not covered regularly. Then out of the blue, along comes a high tide to remind you Mother Nature is still in charge!I was planning to nip off to a meeting in Benfleet, mid morning on Friday, when I heard the tide was lapping at the edge of the road over the causeway. A quick check of the tide timetable told me that I wasn't going to make that meeting on time! However, I was in the fortunate position of being able to postpone. Others stuck on either side of the causeway had their days disrupted - not least the poor driver who tried to make a run for it, but ended up stuck in a ditch with the tide rising round him, having left the road.Our managed realignment of the coast round Wallasea is a response to the threat of rising sea levels, increased storminess and climate change. Once in place, our intertidal habitat will provide a buffer zone for tidal surges and reduce the risks of flooding in years to come.
From too much water on friday, it was water shortages and the water conservation message we received on Sunday. Our volunteer team, the WalVols, had been working hard with us all summer, so by way of a small thank you, we took them to The London Wetlands Centre which was created on the site of a Thames Water reservoir. Apart from my first bittern, fifty bird species were spotted by the birders in the group, while the rest of us enjoyed a wander round the wetland paths,hides and educational exhibits. This south west central London nature reserve is only a couple of hours from Wallasea,yet is a different world! We had a lovely day, but I think we were all glad to return to the peace of our wild coast at the end of the day.