Posts Tagged ‘Lincolnshire


The Proposed Barrage over The Wash

I went to Wells earlier this week, to visit the theatre. There was a debate being held on the ‘Future of The Wash’. The debate was primarily between Dominic Buscall of Wild Ken Hill and James Sutcliffe CEO of Centre Port Ltd.

Dominic is a modern farmer and conservationist who has developed a well-known regenerative agriculture and rewilding area, at Wild Ken Hill, in Northwest Norfolk. He is rapidly becoming a hero of mine.

You may already be aware that Centre Port Ltd wish to privately fund an 11 to 15 mile long barrage between Norfolk and Lincolnshire. The barrage would effectively be a road across The Wash between the two counties. Situated on that road would be a container port. The barrage would house a number of turbines that would generate electricity from the incoming and outgoing tides. The barrage was also being heralded as the answer to rising sea levels brought about by climate change that would protect the low-lying areas of land adjacent to The Wash.

The developer’s website claims that a core aim of the development is to provide guardianship of the ecology of The Wash and Fenlands, its agriculture and the preservation of the natural habitat in the face of escalating climate change. Needless to say the effect on wildlife, particularly birds, within the most important estuary in North-West Europe had hardly been considered. The effect on the wildlife, particularly birds in this important area would be tragic. Just where Centre Port Ltd have been for the past few years is unknown but wherever they were they failed to hear we are in a biodiversity crisis.

Mr Sutcliffe made some astounding claims during the evening regarding consultation with environmental bodies which were not only proved by several in the audience to be fabricated but he also seemed to get rather confused over the costings of the project.

Mr Buscall retorted to Mr Sutcliffe’s presentation with some well thought through arguments against the barrage that were confidently and well delivered.

At a time in our history when we are advocating ‘buy local’ a new container port in the UK, shipping goods from and to distant parts of the world, can be judged nothing more than a White Elephant. Although the project was being heralded as a ‘green’ project because of the production of tidal electricity the increase in greenhouse gas emissions on site and in distant parts of the world supplying business for the container port would add to the effects of global warming and thereby add to increasing sea levels.

The electricity production naturally takes energy from the tidal water. That water replenishes the silt and sand within The Wash. One expert in the audience stated the project would turn The Wash into nothing more than a ‘green, fetid lake’. Mr Sutcliffe seemed to think that a sandy beach along the dual carriageway atop the barrage would be a boon to the leisure industry. He even sited the port could be used by Cruise Ships for visits to York and Cambridge.

I’m just dismayed that once again wildlife comes second; the effect upon this important flyway, feeding and wintering ground for migrating birds is considered after the event. For Christs sake just leave The Wash alone and let the birds thrive and prosper as much as they can.

There was much talk during the evening about the extreme weather events that we are experiencing. Events that discharge flood water into The Wash. Water that would be prevented from leaving the area due to a barrage as quickly as it was hoped would in itself create a flood risk.

We do have to deal with Climate Change. We will have to make changes to combat effects of rising sea levels; I feel a barrage over The Wash just isn’t the answer.

The legal protections offered to The Wash are many and varied. It is a site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and Special Protection Area (SPA). The area has also recently been added to a list of areas in consideration for UNESCO World Heritage Site status. Every single local and national wildlife body that has made comment is against the project.

I cannot believe anyone would want to invest in something that is so clearly doomed. Sadly, the effort required to halt construction and the distraction it will provide for environmentalists is tragic. Anyone connected with the greed for money that is so obviously driving the Centre Port Ltd project should hang their heads in shame.



The reserve at Frampton in Lincolnshire without doubt will become an RSPB showpiece. There are certain improvements going on at the moment that will make it irresistible to visitors. Both avian and human.

Barbara, Carol, Richard and Ross accompanied me on a tour there last week. We had a good number of passing Yellow Wagtails but without doubt the highlight was the wader-fest presented before us. A wide range of species in great numbers.


Frits Galore

A visit to Lincolnshire at the turn of the month gave us an opportunity to see one of the largest hatches of Marsh Fritillary Butterflies since Victorian times. I counted 2500 or more in one single small meadow. Beautiful living stained glass windows.




Transatlantic dots

It’s been a long time since I’ve visited the Lincolnshire coast to do a little birding. The occurrence of two scarce birds on the UK list at Frampton Marsh RSPB was an opportunity to put that right. A Stilt Sandpiper and a Long billed Dowitcher both from across the Atlantic made landfall on the reserve of late and on Thursday I had the chance to pop around the water and see them. It’s always galling that I can see the reserve across the Wash from the Norfolk coast but it’s a two hour drive to get there.

Instantly on arrival it became obvious that photographing both birds was not really possible without a substantial wait or multiple visits; both waders were extremely distant. The Stilt Sand may as well have been on the Norfolk side of The Wash and it was feeding so vigorously it took on the appearance of a singer sewing machine. The Dowitcher however woke up from its slumber behind a stand of rushes and began a slow walk towards us. 30 minutes later it had halved its distance. It was still a good chuck to reach it but at least was more than a dot on the focusing screen.

Nice reserve Frampton. May go there again.

It wouldn’t surprise me if both birds turned up in Norfolk in the next week or so.



beating the blues

Coming back from a bird filled holiday is never easy; even if you do have a to-die-for job. I wasn’t helped by the relentless cascade of news, comments and photos relating to a Bluethroat just inside the Lincolnshire border. The fact it was a male and quite fearless gave me itchy feet. So on Wednesday I jumped in the car to scratch the itch and went to see the little chap. I wasn’t disappointed.

bluethroat-red-spotted-_z5a9698 bluethroat-red-spotted_z5a9948


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Jun 2023


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