March 8 2014 Latest news:
Friday, December 6, 2013
RSPB nature reserves across the region have been widely affected by the storm surge and have suffered varying degrees of damage.
Erica Auger, RSPB communications team manager, said: “The damage includes visitor facilities and access routes, and flooding of salt water onto vulnerable fresh water habitats.
“We will need to spend the weekend assessing the damage and will review the situation once we’ve got a full picture of the devastation, but it’s looking likely to be in excess of £100,000. As a charity, this will seriously impact on us and people who visit these wonderful places.”
RSPB Snettisham saw significant damage and was closed today.
The access road was damaged and paths and two of the watch points washed away.
The west bank path at RSPB Titchwell was overtopped by the flood and salt water has drained into the fresh marsh. This water flow is expected to reach the reedbeds, a vital habitat for species like bitterns and watervoles. There was significant damage to paths and the beach board walk was washed away and the dunes more or less flattened.
The sea walls at RSPB Berney Marshes overtopped causing a significant amount of salt water to pour onto the marsh.
But RSPB Strumpshaw Fen is still open to visitors today and RSPB Minsmere was not affected as badly as it could have been.
A spokesman for Norfolk Wildlife Trust said Cley and Salthouse Marshes were flooded and the reserve and centre were closed today.
Tonight’s Christmas at Cley event is cancelled.
Hickling Broad remained open today and water levels at Martham Broad were not as high as in previous storm surges.
However, people are advised not to visit Ranworth Broad, where the water levels are very high.
The marshes at NWT Thorpe Marshes have been flooded, but Holme Dunes weathered the storm.
All remaining reserves are being checked for storm damage to visitor and livestock infrastructure.
A spokesman for the Environment Agency said it was too early to assess the impact on ecology in the Broads.
“We will be looking at that very closely in the coming days,” a spokesman said.
A spokesman for the Broads Authority confirmed that it was too early to comment on any impact.