Essex

RSPB Essex wetland reserve work resumes

Work has begun again on an Essex nature reserve after it had to be postponed in January due to bad weather.

Contractors left the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) site at Bower's Marsh, Pitsea, because rain and snow made the land unworkable.

The 270 hectare (670 acre) area was due to open in the spring but this has now been put back to the end of the year.

When finished, the reserve will include a lagoon and nature trails, aiming to attract a variety of wildlife.

Dave Hedges, RSPB manager for the area, said: "It is fantastic to see the machinery returning to the nature reserve to finish off what we started in August last year.

"The new nature reserve is already taking shape and the new wet grassland habitat we had already finished looked fantastic this winter with over 400 lapwing seen on one visit."

Bowers Marsh is next to Veolia Environmental Services' reclaimed landfill site and will form part of the 9.3 sq mile (15 sq km) "green lung" of south Essex marshes.

It is hoped the site will attract wading birds and provide habitats for water voles and other wildlife.

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