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Coastal Change Project

Aerial view of RSPB Titchwell Marsh nature reserve, 2005

Image: The RSPB

Titchwell Marsh is an exceptional nature reserve in a special area. It is part of a network of outstanding wildlife sites across Europe called Natura 2000.

The nature reserve has been under threat from the effects of coastal change, the impact of sea level rise and increasing storm events. The Titchwell Coastal Change Project was designed to save the reserve from the effect of these coastal changes.

We are pleased to say we have now successfully completed the project.

We have realigned the sea defences to the north and reinforced the sea banks around parts of the reserve to the west and east. The future of the reserve and its wildlife is assured for at least the next fifty years.

We could not have achieved this without support and funding received from the EU Life+ Nature Fund, WREN, The SITA Trust, Marine Communities Fund, and the many individuals and RSPB supporters who donated and enabled this project to take place.

The project took several years to plan and three years to deliver. A summary of what has been achieved appears below:

  • A new northern sea defence was built along the line of the Parrinder wall. The completed Parrinder wall will protect the reserve‚Äôs freshwater habitats to the south
  • The sea wall and west bank path were re-built and improved from the visitor centre northwards to the Parrinder wall. This sea wall will protect the freshwater habitats for years to come
  • Improvements were made to the freshwater marsh islands and reed bed to benefit nesting birds such as avocet and bittern
  • The fabulous new Parrinder hides opened in December 2010
  • A breach was made in the east bank to the north of the new Parrinder wall. This has allowed saltwater on to the brackish marsh which will change over time into tidal saltmarsh. The new saltmarsh will in turn protect the new Parrinder wall. This new marsh will be known as Volunteer Marsh
  • A section of the south-east corner of the east bank was improved, enabling it to better protect the freshwater habitats which lie to the west
  • The sluice on the east bank, which lets freshwater off the marsh, was replaced. This will enable us to control water levels on the freshwater marsh more effectively than we can at present
  • A new reedbed area was shaped and formed in the grazing meadow east of Fen hide
  • Two new trails were developed to the east of Fen hide. These trails will open in 2012.

The project has protected and improved the conservation value of the reserve and has ensured that it will remain one of the most outstanding and valuable wildlife sites in Europe.

Reserve warden Paul Eele on coastal change at Titchwell Marsh

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For more information

EU LifeNature 2000WRENWaste Recycling GroupSITA TrustLandfill Communities FundMarine Communities Fund