On a nice sunny day of calm weather in Northeast England, we are having fun exploring the coast and building team partnerships. But there is a “but”, land use, sewage discharges, and runoffs into rivers, that dumps into Budle bay and around Holy Island are reasons for high nutrients in these areas thus causing eutrophication and the trigger for nutrient remediation projects like Life Wader (www.ncl.ac.uk/nes/news/news-items/life-water /). The story is similar throughout England and in France that gave birth to the Interreg FCE funded project Rantrans (rantransproject.com).

Rantrans is 6 months approaching the end of the project (30th June 2023), while Life Wader is in the early years of its 5year plans, having started in October 2021. Both projects share many similarities by being focused on sites of important Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Special Protection Areas (SPAs) that are designated under the EU Birds and Habitats Directives as the area supports a number of important habitats and waterbird populations.

The case for knowledge sharing from Rantrans to Life Wader, could not be more perfect especially relating to algal mat removal, and native oysters’ shellfish culture.

Read on and check out these photos from the visit!

Annesia, Dan, and Heather looking at the LNNR map and the Holy Island causeway leading to the island that is sometimes submerged, either in parts, or entirely, and it is impossible to cross on foot or by car.

Our team standing on the Holy Island causeway leading to the island

While on site near Holy Island and in Budle bay there were lots of observations that gave us reasons to recognise the varied nature of these sites compared to Langstone harbour and Poole harbour, that have soft sediments intertidal mud flat areas rather than firmer intertidal sandy flats areas. The extent of these sandflats in the bay near Holy Island and Budle bay, are massive and similar to our French research site – Ledano sandflats.

It is also interesting to note the similarities of good bird presence and other biodiversity on all these sites. This time of year (winter), in the far grounds were; brent geese, barnacle geese, little egret, eider ducks, bar-tailed godwit, ringed plover, and shelduck.

Trust me, there are lots of birds here!

Expanse of vegetated sand dunes

Sandy intertidal flats in Budle bay compared to muddy intertidal flats in Poole and Langstone harbour

Local footpath contributing to sediments and nutrients runoff from neighbouring land into the sea

Algal mat growth that is fuelled by nutrient runoff and input from small stream and footpath – the LNNR team are planning to install a reedbed solutions to intercept the nutrients before it enters the sea and fuel further algal mat growth like seen on these rocks.

The varied intertidal biodiversity in these rocky shore areas were full of life

Resilience of seaweed growth extending to edge of the Holy Island Road causeway

Seagrass beds – patches everywhere

Wakame seaweed, I think

Ulva seaweed for sure

This was a great knowledge sharing day, with excellent weather conditions and important conversations with the LNNR team and Life Wader project team. It is great to see how the knowledge transfer from #RaNTrans to #LifeWadder will play a major part for furthering nutrient remediation research and delivering nature recovery for people and wildlife.

Overall, it was an enjoyable and informative day for all.

Stay tune for more updates…

Our work continues in 2023!

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