Although S E marsh is not within the parish of Bigbury, many in our community enjoy the River Avon and its surroundings. Those individuals may be interested to know that the freshwater grazing marsh at South Efford (a recognised Biodiversity Action Plan habitat) is now being converted into a saltmarsh by the Environment Agency, following the opening of the new tidal gate which has been designed to flush most of the area with sea water on a twice daily basis. The opening ceremony took place on Friday 8th July and featured briefly on BBC TV’s Spotlight.
The entire project has cost in the region of £300,000 we are told and the new salt marsh will take several years to develop. Meanwhile, look forward to a sea of mud! Many local people were opposed to the idea from the outset but, if nothing else, it will be very interesting to monitor the experiment. The Devon Wildlife Trust will be managing the new nature reserve on behalf of the Environment Agency.
You can find out more about the project and view some photographs of the ceremony at http://www.auneconservation.org.uk