Tees Estuary bird habitat plans are approved

A £2.3m scheme which creates a bigger habitat for birds has been approved by Hartlepool Borough Council.

A new flood bank will allow two breaches to be made in the existing embankment at Greatham Creek.

This will create 22 hectares of inter-tidal saltmarsh and mudflat that will compensate for the loss of similar habitats on the Tees estuary.

The Environment Agency's project will start in May and is expected to take six months to complete.

The agency says the breaches will not increase flood risk to properties and businesses.

The new bank will have a public footpath along the top which will provide excellent vantage points for bird watchers.

The project is part of an overall strategy for the Tees Estuary being developed by the Environment Agency to protect people, properties and the area's business infrastructure from flooding, while at the same time ensuring that valuable wildlife habitat is maintained.

Bruce Munro, the Environment Agency's principal environmental project manager for the scheme, said: "While the habitat creation is a legal requirement that will allow for future flood protection along the Tees Estuary, we feel this scheme will deliver so much more, for wildlife, the local community and for visitors to the area."

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