New sea defences should protect nature and farms at Walton on the Naze
- Credit: Archant
A £300,000 project to improve sea defences at Walton on the Naze and protect against rising sea levels has been completed.
A new sea wall has been built to protect a water treatment plant and the John Weston Nature Reserve, as well as farm land and the Naze itself.
Made of clay from the nearby Naze, the 260 metre long and 17 metre wide wall is designed to protect land behind it from a one in 100-year flood event.
It is also in place to become a new sea wall when the existing section fails, with erosion already meaning that the wall is expected to be over-topped by the sea during storms this winter.
Supported by Natural England the scheme will defend the Naze and stop the sea eroding through to Walton Channel and the backwaters and marshes, which have a number of designations including Special Protection Area and a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
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As part of the work, the contractors also created a home for insects to replace the site lost to the new wall.
Nick Turner, who has represented Tendring Council on the Naze Management Board since it began, said he was proud that the project had come in on time.
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“This scheme is vital to the future of the Naze, which is such an important site in terms of its natural beauty and geological history, as well as infrastructure such as the water plant.”
“Due to the complex nature of the project and the natural significance of the area it took several years to get this scheme fully approved, but I am pleased that once work began in May it has been completed swiftly.
“This will protect a key part of the Naze, which is an irreplaceable heritage site, for generations to come.”
Now the structural work has been completed, all that remains is for ground to be seeded for grasses and other plants to re-grow.
Funding for the project came from the Regional Flood and Coastal Committee, Anglian Water, landowner David Eagle, the Naze Protection Society, Frinton and Walton Town Council and Tendring.
The Naze is partially looked after by the Essex Wildlife Trust and administered by the Naze Management Board, which has several different partners.