Saltmarsh Restoration on the Dart Estuary
FiveRivers is proud to be working with the Bioregional Learning Centre and partners in support of the Living Dart: The Saltmarsh Project. This project is funded by the Environment Agency through the Championing Coastal Coordination (3Cs) Project and Water Environment Investment Fund (WEIF).
The project aims to support the restoration of a mosaic of saltmarshes in the Dart Estuary which have become degraded. Key features are that the project planning is local, and that it has involved local communities and public and private landowners from the get-go.
Saltmarshes are ecologically significant ecosystems in the United Kingdom for several reasons: positively impacting biodiversity, coastal protection, water quality, carbon sequestration, fish stocks and rare species. They also have cultural and historical value,
influencing education, recreation, and tourism.
Working across an area of ~40Ha; FiveRivers will be developing prescriptions with Angus Garbutt from the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH) to guide the project team and highlight opportunities for involving local people. We will assess the condition of the saltmarsh to produce methodologies for restoring each patch of saltmarsh in the designated area. Each location will have a tailormade methodology depending on the level of degradation.
So far, drone and vegetation surveys for 13 locations have been completed by Devon Biodiversity Record Centre (DBRC) and Dart Harbour, with advice from SDAONB and we will begin to carry out GIS and LiDAR surveys to overlap on the existing data to support our assessments.
In 2024, the Bioregional Learning Centre will apply for funding for the delivery of the restoration measures and further expansion of this working model.
At FiveRivers we are passionate about preserving and improving our natural world through
nature-based solutions and restoring saltmarshes is key to this. A healthy saltmarsh helps to sustain our environment acting as a natural flood defence system, as well as providing
carbon sequestration and vital habitats for wildlife.
Talking about the project, our Natural Capital Consultant, Matt Janes, said this:
‘It’s amazing to be working alongside so many invested stakeholders to restore the saltmarsh on the Dart Estuary. I hope we can put together some great restoration solutions to benefit the local biodiversity and the community. The Devon saltmarshes hold a special place in my heart so it’s a real honour to be involved in this project.’
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