As part of the Solent Seascape Project, we’re planning a saltmarsh restoration trial project at West Itchenor. The trial will use an innovative new technique to help restore saltmarsh habitat. Saltmarsh is an amazing coastal ecosystem which stores carbon, helps natural sea defences, improves water quality and promotes biodiversity. The trial will use sediment collected from local maintenance dredging within the Harbour. If successful, it could radically transform the way dredged sediment is used for saltmarsh habitat restoration. This would help to reverse the declining trend in biodiversity within the Harbour, restore the features of the SSSI and develop a circular economy model.
The project will be taking place at West Itchenor where historic saltmarsh once existed, close to two thriving areas of saltmarsh, Chalkdock Marsh and a site west of Northshore boatyard. Both these areas will provide a natural supply of seed to help colonise the new area of raised sediment. By restoring saltmarsh here we also hope to protect the coastal footpath behind. It’s expected that the site will be seeded by the nearby saltmarsh sites and that pioneer species will start to grow within the first year.
Find out more about the project here.