One of the most ambitious managed realignment schemes on the South Coast is opened today
Medmerry is a large tract of land that has been modified to become a wetland nature reserve. Built by the Environment Agency at a cost of £28 million, it fulfills a number of functions including some flood defence relief to the area around Selsey. The project wil include areas to be managed by RSPB
Under the Habitats Regulations, this new wetland will be used to provide compensation for environmental losses in the Solent area. This raises all kinds of questions such as how the manage habitat creation ‘banked’ ahead of need. It also poses questions related to the need to provide compensation for loss of protected habitat due to natural causes, such as loss of saltmarsh.
On the day it is officially opened, a tidal surge in the Channel is producing some of the highest tides of the year. Maybe we will find out whether Medmerry was worth the cost!