Replacing brick, concrete, and metal tidal walls with a variety of habitats is what the Estuary Edges project is about. The Estuary Edges website is a ‘how to’ guide on ecological design for softening these ‘edges’ to encourage wildlife into urban estuaries.
In our case study estuary, the Thames, only around 1% of the edges are natural. Increasing the habitat along the edges will have a significant positive impact on plants, invertebrates, fish and birds.
Well-planned developments next to our estuaries can create better places to live and work. When reconstructing or refurbishing the banks of an estuary, a project should include features that support wildlife, improve public access and educate people about the importance of protecting the environment whilst measuring the improvement in these three areas.
· Engage developers and councils with best practice for implementing intertidal development and Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS)
· Engage developers, the public and local communities on the benefits of these sites to wildlife and human health and wellbeing
· Gather further ecological evidence on the benefits of the sites to wildlife and the array of species that choose to reside there
· Gather data on how these sites change over time, to help build future sites that are climate resilient
· Train students and local communities to monitor the Estuary Edges, as well as providing students with valuable fieldwork skills