Work has now begun on the 1500-acre wetland in Essex, designed to create artificial bird habitats and attract more visitors to the area. Hoped to replace some of the natural habitats that have been destroyed due to construction development, the £7.5m project will not be finished until 2019, yet visitors will reportedly be welcome to visit different sections of the site as they are completed.
The wetland has been created by taking down 300m of sea wall on Wallasea Island in order to flood 115 hectares of land, consequently creating mudflats, marshes, saline lagoons, and artificial islands. These marshes and mudflats will also serve as flood defenses - according to Mark Dixon, the project manager - as they will "absorb the tide's energy".
The new wetland is expected to attract over 50,000 birds seeking shelter from the cold northern winds during the winter. Oystercatchers, avocets, and little terns are hoped to feature amongst the new arrivals, and visitors to the area will be able to observe the birds on 15km of new paths containing hides, screens and mounds - the perfect hiding places.
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