New wildlife oasis will be a treat for nature-lovers

Amanda Morby, Portsmouth

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A NEW nature reserve in West Sussex is about to be created as the final stages of a multi-million-pound coastal protection scheme are carried out.

Works are starting to allow the sea to gently flow into a new intertidal area at Medmerry, on the Manhood Peninsula.

The area has been created by flood prevention works between Selsey and Bracklesham and over time will develop into a saltmarsh habitat for wildlife such as birds, water voles, great crested newts and reptiles.

The Environment Agency’s Medmerry Managed Realignment Scheme stands next to Bunn Leisure’s £16.8m coastal protection scheme, which was the first privately-funded project of its kind in the UK.

The scheme at West Sands created a new beach for holidaymakers.

The Medmerry scheme on Bunn Leisure’s western boundary will allow nature-lovers to use new footpaths, viewpoints and cycleways.

The RSPB will be responsible for the maintenance of the nature reserve.

John Bunn, managing director of Bunn Leisure, said: ‘Visitors to Bunn Leisure are already enjoying our fantastic new beach thanks to our ambitious and impressive coastal protection scheme.

‘We’re watching the Medmerry site develop and we’re sure that it will give guests who are birdwatchers and nature-lovers even more reasons to come.’

The new footpaths are expected to be ready by November.