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Last Updated: Saturday, 19 March, 2005, 18:36 GMT
Farmland becomes wildlife habitat
Abbotts Hall salt marsh
Allowing the development of salt marsh can protect land and property
A new wetland wildlife habitat is set to be created on an Essex farm by allowing the sea to breach the defences onto agricultural land.

But its manager said, in the long-term, it will be part of a new flood-barrier scheme on the River Crouch.

The scheme is similar to a project at Essex Wildlife Trust headquarters at Great Wigborough, where the sea turned farmland back into salt marshes.

Planning permission has been granted for Wallasea Island, near Rochford.

Mark Dixon is project manager for the scheme and an environmentalist.

He claims local wildlife will benefit by letting the sea turn farmland back into salt marshes.

"I'm looking forward to the challenge but it's not going to happen overnight.

"The natural process of salt marsh development will take place over many years."

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