Floods force RSPB Suffolk to cancel opening of reserves

RSPB Snape The RSPB's new freshwater reed beds at Snape were flooded with saltwater in December

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The RSPB has had to cancel the opening of its two new reserves in Suffolk due to damage created by December's coastal surge tides.

The bird and wildlife charity was due to unveil its new sites at Snape and Hollesley later.

However, the flooded River Alde over-topped the reserve at Snape, filling the freshwater marshes with saltwater.

Work to clear up the damage is continuing and the RSPB said it hoped to open the reserves in the spring.

Aaron Howe, RSPB reserves project manager, said: "The rain has helped flush out virtually all of the salt and the marsh will recover, but the project has been delayed."

The 125-acre marsh at Snape is an extension to the existing 70-acre reserve.

The reserve at Hollesley was not flooded, but the RSPB was hoping to formally open it on the same day as it opened Snape.

Hollesley Marsh A lagoon has been dug out at the new RSPB reserve at Hollesley near Woodbridge
Havergate Island after December 2013 surge tides Havergate Island's defensive walls were over-topped by the North Sea tidal surges

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