Severn Estuary success in Europe

02/04/04

A coastline protection project hosted by Cardiff University has secured £150,000 to help protect one of Britain's largest and most dynamic estuaries.

The Severn Estuary Partnership is run from the University's School of Earth, Ocean and Planetary Sciences and involves 13 local authorities, the Environment Agency, countryside agencies and voluntary organisations.

The £150,000 funding forms part of a larger €uro 2.5 million CoastAtlantic research project, which involves nine European partners looking at how the Severn and the Atlantic coast (from Scotland to Portugal) can best be managed, and locally, how the Severn Estuary Partnership can get everyone with an interest, involved in doing so.

Locally, the project will address the vast area of coastline from Llantwit Major on the Welsh bank, up to Gloucester, and round to Minehead on the English bank. This Estuary boasts the second highest tidal range in the world. It is internationally recognised for nature conservation, has major industries and ports sited around its shores, and attracts several million visitors each year to a variety of tourist attractions.

Project work has already started with the establishment of community groups that focus on themes such as coastal access and recreation, rural landscapes and economies, nature conservation and cultural heritage issues.

One of the aims is to improve and develop sustainable access to and around the Estuary through developing walks and trails. Other actions include, investigating and testing ways to boost local economies by promoting local produce, and working to develop a greater understanding of the archaeological and nature conservation values of the Severn Estuary coastal zone.

George Ashworth, Chairman of the Severn Estuary Partnership said that the new funding will make a big difference to the work of the Partnership.

"It means that, as well as getting a greater number of people aware of and involved in the management of the Severn, we are able to focus our efforts on visible actions around the estuary that would otherwise not have been possible."

Source: Eurekalert & others

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