Donna Nook Managed Realignment

Tagged with: Casework status: Closed Casework type: Plans Megasites: The Humber Estuary Site designations: Ramsar site Site designations: SAC Site designations: SPA Site designations: SSSI
Lapwing Vanellus vanellus, standing in shallow water, Geltsdale RSPB reserve, Cumbria

Overview

East Lindsey Council have refused the Environment Agency permission to create new intertidal habitat at Donna Nook.

In 2010, East Lindsey District Council (ELDC) refused the Environment Agency (EA) permission to create more than a square kilometre of new intertidal habitat on the south outer Humber Estuary at Donna Nook, Lincolnshire.

Unconvinced by the council's reasons given for its refusal, EA lodged an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate. In the mean time, ELDC invited EA to re-submit their original application, which ELDC approved in June 2011.

This new habitat, which is essential for conserving the Humber's nationally and internationally important wildlife, would be created by a process called managed realignment. This involves moving the line of the flood defences inland and breaching the old defences, allowing the sea to flow in and naturally create more habitat.

Through this process of managed realignment, a square kilometre of agricultural land would be transformed into a mosaic of saltmarsh, mudflats, creeks and little islands.

Construction works began on site in May 2012 and are expected to be completed in October 2012 in readiness for a sea wall breach in Summer 2013. We are continuing to work with the EA to minimise the short-term ecological impacts of the scheme and to ensure that the long-term benefits are realised.

Map

Why is it worth fighting for?

Over the next century, a combination of rising sea levels and improved flood defences on the Humber Estuary will result in the loss of its wildlife-rich intertidal habitats. As these habitats are legally protected by national and international law, the EA is legally obliged to replace these areas by creating new habitat.

Part of the EA's Humber Flood Risk Management Strategy, the Donna Nook managed realignment scheme is one of several projects that are necessary to protect the Humber Estuary and its wildlife.

A managed realignment at Donna Nook would replace valuable intertidal habitat for wildlife that will be lost elsewhere in the outer south estuary. We believe it would benefit thousands of waders and wildfowl including golden plovers, lapwings and redshanks. The habitat could also be used as a valuable nursery for declining commercial fish stocks.

David Douglas (Conservation Scientist) heads up a team looking into the effects of a wind farm on Golden plover Pluvialis apricaria, Sutherland, Scotland

Our position

We were very disappointed by East Lindsey District Council’s initial decision to refuse planning permission for the Environment Agency's (EA) managed realignment scheme at Donna Nook and are pleased that the Council approved the resubmitted application.

The project is necessary to help protect the Humber Estuary and its wildlife as part of the EA's Humber Flood Risk Management Strategy. We believe it is imperative to protect this internationally important natural asset.

We have worked closely with the EA on this proposal and believe it will benefit thousands of waders and wildfowl including important populations of redshanks, golden plovers and lapwings.

Furthermore, since the proposal includes localised improvements to the flood defences, the proposals would play an important role in protecting local people, property and surrounding farmland.

We will continue to work with the EA to ensure the scheme delivers the best result for wildlife.

Timeline

  • Ongoing
    The managed realignment has now been created but issues with diverting a footpath have held up breaching of the flood bank to allow the site to flood. This site is still essential to conserving the Humber’s internationally important wildlife and so we are continuing to work with the Environment Agency with the aim of ensuring the long-term benefits of the scheme are realised.

  • Summer 2013
    Sea wall breach allowing the sea to flow in and naturally create more habitat

  • October 2012
    Construction work is expected to be completed in readiness for the a sea wall breach

  • May 2012
    Construction work begins on site

  • September 2011
    Planning Inspectorate due to hear EA's appeal but resubmitted application approved in the meantime

  • 23 June 2011
    ELDC approve EA's resubmitted application

  • June 2011
    ELDC due to make a decision on EA's resubmitted application

  • March 2011
    ELDC invite EA to resubmit their application

  • March 2011
    We support EA's appeal by submitting a Statement of Case to the Planning Inspectorate

  • December 2010
    EA lodge an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate

  • June 2010
    East Lindsey District Council (ELDC) refuse the Environment Agency's (EA) application to create a square kilometre of intertidal habitat at Donna Nook

Outcome

The managed realignment has now been created but issues with diverting a footpath have held up breaching of the flood bank to allow the site to flood. This site is still essential to conserving the Humber’s internationally important wildlife and so we are continuing to work with the Environment Agency with the aim of ensuring the long-term benefits of the scheme are realised.