DREDGED material from a multi-million coastal project is being used to support key bird populations in Essex.

The £120 million project, which was funded by the Harwich Haven Authority, will deepen the Harwich Harbour to make room for mega ships.

The trust is now covering the cost of moving sand and shingle materials from the channel to Horsey Island to enhance the most important little tern colony in Essex.

The  Love Nature initiative, which was launched by RSPB and funded by the EU Life+ project and the Environment Agency, aims to protect the tern population from climate change and the rising sea level.

Over time, the Horsey Island beach has flattened out, which makes it increasingly vulnerable to high tides especially during the breeding season.

The much needed recharge will now be done by blowing out the material over the bow or connecting a pipe and pumping it directly on to the foreshore.

Daniel Piec, project manager at RSPB, said: “The placement of sand and shingle from the Harwich channel dredge onto Horsey Island is a rare example of collaboration between industry and NGO sectors to improve resilience of vulnerable wildlife areas against climate change.

"The 50,000 cubic meters of dredged materials placed by Harwich Haven Authority will secure the most important population of little terns in Essex from the sea level rise and enable the RSPB to continue managing this important colony for years to come despite impacts of climate change.

“Every year, millions of tons of dredged sand and shingle are dumped at sea rather than placed in sensitive wildlife areas vulnerable to sea level rise, more frequent storms and flooding – all caused by climate change.

"We need to simplify regulatory processes and excessive licence fees to enable more of this kind of projects if we want to save our terns, gulls, ringed plovers and oystercatchers from climate change impacts”.

The Horsey Island, which is a private island in north Essex, was first recharged in the 1990s using sand and shingle from a previous deepening project by the Harwich Haven Authority.

Visit projectlote.life for more.