Addressing the challenges – planning for biodiversity at the coast - Andy Millar, Natural England, Senior Adviser (Coasts)

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Landscapes for Life - Conference 2013 - East of England. 16th - 18th July 2013

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Addressing the challenges – planning for biodiversity at the coast - Andy Millar, Natural England, Senior Adviser (Coasts)

  1. 1. Planning for Wildlife and Coastal Change AONB Landscapes for Life Conference July 2013
  2. 2. Coastal zone supports some of our richest and most diverse habitats and species...
  3. 3. Naturally dynamic and mobile......climate change may accelerate this.
  4. 4. We use natural coastal habitats as flood and erosion protection:
  5. 5. But the result can be ‘squeeze’. Damaged habitat and no real flood protection either:
  6. 6. Building resilience and allowing habitats and species to adapt:
  7. 7. Creating new freshwater wetlands (but not always at the coast):
  8. 8. Mutual benefits: there’s no better sea defence than a healthy salt marsh
  9. 9. Recycling sediment to restore inter-tidal habitat:
  10. 10. Creating space for inter-tidal habitat; managed realignment.
  11. 11. Soft cliff erosion creates sediment and exposes features:
  12. 12. But coastal processes show no respect for site boundaries..
  13. 13. This soft cliff SSSI is trapped between tide and tractor:
  14. 14. But the boundary can be ‘future-proofed’
  15. 15. People need to be on-side, humans v wildlife is not the right place to be:
  16. 16. In summary: • The only permanent thing about nature at the coast is change. • Coastal habitats and species need space to adapt and build resilience to current and future change • We shouldn’t attempt to fossilise natural features at the coast • Habitats and species will be created and lost. There are challenges but also opportunities • Protected coastal landscapes may not stay the same, but AONBs can help restore sites and landscape scale approach • Work with people and communities, coastal change is emotive
  17. 17. ...and just to show no-one’s immune...

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