Huge new wildlife reserve

Millions of tonnes of earth from the construction of new rail tunnels are being used to create a huge wetland nature reserve in Essex which will be the largest of its kind in Europe.

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Nature reserve created in Essex

Work has started on Europe's largest man-made nature reserve, which will eventually be home to tens of thousands of migratory wetland birds.

It's being created using the millions of tonnes of earth from dug out for London's Crossrail project, which will allow rail passengers to journey between Shenfield in Essex, across the capital to Maidenhead in Berkshire.

The project will see Wallasea Island, near Southend, transformed into a massive wetland habitat.

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Operation starts building new Essex nature reserve

The first load of soil has arrived at Wallasea Island, Essex to start the creation of Europe's largest coastal nature reserve. Credit: Kate Prout / ITV Anglia

The first load of soil has arrived from London at an Essex island to start the creation of Europe's largest coastal nature reserve.

Four and a half million tonnes is being excavated from beneath the capital to create a rail link between Heathrow and Shenfield in Essex and the earth is being used to bolster Wallasea island near Southend to create a haven for hundreds of thousands of birds

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