SEA DEFENCE DEBATE: Richard Porter: A bad move for bird life

PUBLISHED: 11:59 24 January 2014 | UPDATED: 12:48 24 January 2014

A marsh harrier

A marsh harrier

(C)2013 {Steve Plume}, all rights reserved

Richard Porter, a professional ornithologist and conservationist from Cley, thought it would be a bad move for bird life, people and the tourism industry not to repair the breaches.

He said: “I think it would be a disaster to have salt water coming into what were fresh water marshes, because it would decrease the bio-diversity and particularly the bird life. Salt marsh is very rich too but is not so bio-diverse and there’s plenty of salt marsh along other stretches of the Norfolk coast.”

Mr Porter, a member of Cley bird club, said thousands of people flock to the north Norfolk coast to spot species including lapwing, red shank, marsh harrier, avocet and bittern, which use the fresh water grazing marsh. If it were to become salt water marsh, he said these birds would not come to breed.

“Birdwatchers and tourists come here every year because of the diversity of bird life created by the fresh water,” he added. “I think leaving things and letting nature take its course, from a bird conservation point of view and for the conservation of other wildlife, would not be very sensible.

“I do hope the National Trust and Norfolk Wildlife Trust are given every support to negotiate with the Environment Agency for the breaches to be filled in, in the most sensible way. I cannot see them being fixed by allowing natural processes.”

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  • Mr Porter and his ilk might be better off securing long term funding to purchase and maintain a new reserve, alternatively they could ask the EDP Lowestoft and Walcott Disaster Fund for some loose change to pay for his defences. All in all the coalition government has other things to spend it's money on such as human beings.

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    George Ezekial

    Friday, January 24, 2014

  • Natural England and the Environment Agency have limited powers and can only do what the government allows them to do. Their influence on decisions gets less and less over time because of cuts and the fact influential minsters have no interest in, or knowledge of, environmental matters. The same politicians do not understand the needs of local people either. Proposals to protect the maritime environment in the Blakeney and Cley area have been rejected. There must be a way to protect the interests of local fisherman, bait diggers and the marine environment. The fact that Cromer crabs are valued so highly reflects the importance of a healthy sea and coastline in north Norfolk.

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    Friday, January 24, 2014

  • Limited funds for sea defence work have always been and always will be spent where people live. Salthouse Parish Council are concerned that if the sea defences are not restored village businesses are likely to lose out. The Dun Cow public house, Old Post Office and so on. Tourism is vital to this part of North Norfolk. House prices are out of reach of most people here. A way forward must be found.

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    Friday, January 24, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site


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