South Essex marshes to get £800,000 of improvements

View from Pitsea Marshes across to Canvey Island
Image caption The work will increase access to marshland between Thurrock and Hadleigh

More than £800,000 is to be spent on improvements to marshes along the south Essex coast.

Essex County Council will use the money to increase access to land next to the Thames Estuary stretching from Thurrock to Hadleigh.

A new link to the Olympic mountain biking venue in Hadleigh and new paths will be created, along with greater promotion of local visitor attractions.

Work will begin later this month and is due to be completed by 2014.

The project will involve marshes and visitor attractions in Basildon, Canvey Island, Fobbing, Corringham and Thurrock.

'Rightly proud'

The county council will spend £300,000 and £440,000 will come from an EU-led fund for coastal regions in the south east, known as the Two Seas Programme.

Further money will come from waste management company, Veolia.

Essex County Councillor Jeremy Lucas said he believed the expenditure on a "spectacular part of Essex" was justified.

He said: "People who live in the south of the county are rightly proud of the fact they have all kinds of natural assets which are not fully recognised even in other parts of Essex."

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