The Steart Marshes nature reserve is an innovative response to dealing with the squeeze on wildlife along the Severn Estuary.
Rising sea levels are putting the squeeze on the UK’s coast so The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) and the Environment Agency created Steart Marshes – one of the UK’s largest new wetland reserves. Hundreds of hectares of saltmarsh and freshwater wetlands buffer homes and businesses from rising sea levels, and provide habitat for a rich mix of wetland wildlife including otters, egrets, owls waders and wildfowl.
Steart Marshes is a place that demonstrates how wetlands are productive and useful. As well as being a natural buffer, providing protection to the newly created flood banks, the saltmarsh is farmed for specialist saltmarsh lamb and beef, its creeks are a nursery for the fry of important fish stocks, and it is absorbing tonnes of climate-polluting carbon as it matures.
JPR Environmental have been proud to be involved in the early stages:
- fencing to keep wildfowl from eating the newly planted wetland species
- creating a treatment area for foul water on site as there is no sewage or mains connection to the site’s facilities.
The foul water treatment solution JPR has created on site is working very well and has the following advantages:
- energy use is low
- it is natural-looking and in-keeping with the surroundings
- the use of native plants encourages biodiversity
- the water is treated to a high quality
- everything is kept on site which means that no local sewage system is necessary
- The solution also means that no soakaway is necessary which has avoided the potential problem of waste
- later leaching into the local ditch network.
JPR has achieved the aim of a low energy, natural sewage treament system and the clients are very happy with the result.
It was wonderful to visit the site recently and see how much it has developed and how many new species of fauna and flora it is now attracting each year.