Castle Point MP Rebecca Harris champions value of nature to South Essex communities

Martin Payne

Tuesday 21 August 2018

Castle Point MP Rebecca Harris is encouraging her constituents get out enjoy the local countryside following a recent visit to RSPB West Canvey Marsh nature reserve on Canvey Island.

Castle Point MP Rebecca Harris is encouraging her constituents get out enjoy the local countryside following a recent visit to RSPB West Canvey Marsh nature reserve on Canvey Island.

Rebecca Harris MP: “Access to nature is a valuable resource for people and communities, we are incredibly fortunate to have a huge nature reserve on our doorstep. We are lucky to have events like Canvey Island Wildlife Day for the whole family to enjoy and learn about our unique wildlife reserves; but the marshes can be enjoyed all year round. Places like West Canvey Marsh not only provide homes for many of our most threatened species, they give local people a place where they can spend time outdoors being active, learning and playing in the natural environment. 

“On my most recent visit to West Canvey Marsh, the RSPB explained how water on the site is controlled and managed to create habitats for birds and other wildlife, while providing valuable water storage capacity that helps to prevent flooding on the rest of the Island.”

West Canvey Marsh is a 269 hectare nature reserve that forms part of a network of wet and dry grassland, reed beds, lagoons, saltmarsh and scrub habitats managed by the RSPB in South Essex. Historically the site was used for grazing, and livestock still plays an important role in managing habitat for protected birds such as redshank, avocet and lapwing

Managing water on the reserve is also important for creating and maintaining habitats for wildlife.  In the winter the RSPB is able to take up to 80,000 cubic metres of water out of the main river with permission from the Environment Agency.  This water is then stored in the main reservoir and used to feed the lagoons and marshes during the summer months. Bunds separate the reserve from the rest of the island, retaining the water on-site where it is needed.

Isobel Donovan, Senior Sites Manager for the RSPB’s South Essex nature reserves: “It’s great to have Rebecca taking an interest in the environment and in local nature reserves. Our staff and volunteers work hard to maintain and manage the reserve for wildlife and for people, and it’s rewarding to have many local people enjoying the reserve, whether they are walking their dogs, visiting the play area with their families, seeking out rare birds or photographing dragonflies.”

Find out more and plan your trip at: rspb.org.uk/westcanveymarsh

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Last Updated: Tuesday 28 August 2018

Contact

Coast on a stormy day

Rupert Masefield

Communications Officer, Eastern England region

rupert.masefield@rspb.org.uk
01603 697595
Tagged with: Country: England Topic: People Topic: Reserves Topic: Water and wetlands