Changes in bird use following the managed realignment at Freiston Shore RSPB Reserve, Lincolnshire, England

  • Published source details Badley R. & Allcorn R.I. (2006) Changes in bird use following the managed realignment at Freiston Shore RSPB Reserve, Lincolnshire, England. Conservation Evidence, 3, 102-105.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Restore or create coastal and intertidal wetlands

Action Link
Bird Conservation

Facilitate tidal exchange to restore/create brackish/salt marshes from other land uses

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation
  1. Restore or create coastal and intertidal wetlands

    A before-and-after study at Freiston Shore, Lincolnshire, England (Bradley & Allcorn 2006), found that the number of wildfowl and little egrets Egretta garzetta using the site increased from 426 and one, respectively to 2,659 and 14 between 2002-2003 and 2005-2006. This followed the breaching of the sea wall at the site, allowing the flooding of 66 ha of land in 2002. By September 2005, 70% of the area was covered in salt marsh plants. However, the number of waders at the site decreased from 11,012 to 7,799 over the same period, and the authors note that the regular inundation with salt water prevents waders from breeding. Songbirds showed mixed responses: Eurasian skylarks Alauda arvensis increased from an average of 16 birds to 121; four species increased by smaller amounts; three species showed uncertain trends; meadow pipits Anthus pratensis declined.


  2. Facilitate tidal exchange to restore/create brackish/salt marshes from other land uses

    A before-and-after study in 2002–2005 aiming to restore a salt marsh on farmland in England, UK (Badley & Allcorn 2006) reported that approximately three years after clearing existing vegetation and restoring tidal exchange, 70% of the site was covered by salt marsh vegetation. The first colonizers included glasswort Salicornia sp. and seablite Suaeda maritima, but sea purslane Halimione portulacoides and sea aster Aster tripolium were present after 2–3 years (data not reported). The study reported that plant species diversity in the managed site was similar to adjacent natural salt marsh (but this was neither quantified nor statistically tested). Methods: The study used 66 ha of cropland that had been claimed from the sea in 1983. In August 2002, tidal exchange was restored to the site by blocking some drainage ditches, excavating tidal channels and breaching the seawall. Existing vegetation was cleared before hydrological restoration, so note that this study evaluates the combined effect of these interventions. Details of vegetation monitoring were not reported.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

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