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Project to reduce eroding salt marsh in Essex due to climate change

Coir rolls are being put in place to allow sediment to settle and the salt marsh to flourish Credit: Environment Agency

Work's being carried out in North Essex to reduce eroding salt marsh due to climate change.

The Environment Agency and the Essex Wildlife Trust are putting in structures in the Colne Estuary for plants to grow in.

Known as Coir Rolls, they allow sediment to settle for salt marsh to flourish.

The Colne is one of four areas in East Anglia to be chosen for this pilot project.

"We identified this site, as the Colne estuary is ecologically significant and the eroding channel was right in front of the sea wall. We are delighted with the progress of the installation phase of the project. In partnership with Essex Wildlife Trust, we are looking forward to monitoring the impact the structures have, and to what extent, in protecting and restoring the saltmarsh over the coming months and years."

– Becky Mason, Priority catchment officers for the Colne

The Environment Agency says the salt marsh is gradually eroding due to climate change and the coastal squeeze, as it lies between the sea wall and the estuary channel.

It currently acts as a buffer between the estuary and the sea defences so if it erodes, it means the defences are not as protected. It is also an important habitat for nesting birds and young fish.

The Colne has been chosen as one of four priority catchments in East Anglia, as part of a pilot project to focus on environmental outcomes across the area.