This important project will protect the vital freshwater habitats within our Titchwell Marsh nature reserve from destruction by the sea. In addition, it will compensate for the unavoidable loss of valuable brackish marsh habitat from this same reserve. The text below gives you a brief summary of the project; you can find out more by looking at the maps, publications and other documents in the Downloads section.
Titchwell lies towards the western end of the beautiful North Norfolk coast. It forms a key part of the North Norfolk Coast Special Protection Area (SPA) - a 25 mile (40 km) long strip of land that has been identified under the EU's Birds Directive as one of the most important places for birds in the whole of Europe. In turn, this SPA is part of Natura 2000 - a unique, continent-wide network of key biodiversity areas that are managed to provide benefits for both wildlife and people.
The freshwater and brackish habitats at Titchwell are currently protected by seawalls. However, these walls will almost certainly fail within the next few years if nothing is done to prevent this. There are three main reasons for this:
- Firstly, the coast at Titchwell is currently eroding and the mean high water mark is gradually moving landwards
- Secondly, climate change is causing sea levels and storminess to increase
- Thirdly, the wall system is not strong enough to cope with the increasing pressures that will be placed on it due to these two factors.
Failure of the wall system would result in the freshwater and brackish habitats at Titchwell gradually turning into tidal saltmarsh. This would greatly reduce the value of the reserve to many of the birds that currently use it.
The birds that will benefit from the project include several that are covered by the EU Birds Directive - either because they are listed on Annex I of this directive as requiring 'special conservation measures', or because they are classified as 'regularly occurring migratory species'. To learn more about the 'Directive species' that will be helped by the project, please follow the links on this page.