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Clear-up after the tidal surge at Snettisham could take months says warden

Jim Scott, the RSPB site manager at Snettisham shows some of the significant damage caused by the recent tidal surge along the coast.

Jim Scott, the RSPB site manager at Snettisham shows some of the significant damage caused by the recent tidal surge along the coast.

Wardens are waiting to assess the damage wreaked on a nature reserve by last month’s tidal surge.

Jim Scott, the site manager at the RSPB reserve in Snettisham, expects the clear-up to take months after hides and shingle banks were damaged and punctured by the high tides and winds on Thursday, December 5.

But there are also fears that the flood water may have killed off invertebrates or plants that inhabit the area around the south lagoon.

Sections of the reserve are still not open to the public but it is hoped that the clear-up will be ready for the tourist season in the summer.

Mr Scott said: “It is going to take months and months. This is not going to be a short job.”

The RSPB has launched an appeal to raise £300,000 to cover the repairs to reserves along the East Coast and has received more than £50,000 so far.

But Snettisham has been one of the worst hit with three bird-watching hides damaged or destroyed along with some fencing.

Massive holes have been found in the shingle banks, with some of the damage yet to be assessed, as some parts are still under water.

Mr Scott said: “I suspect an island in the pits will be badly damaged but it is still under water.”

But there were also fears that the flood water could have damaged some of the wildlife around the reserve.

Mr Scott said: “There is a potential ecological issue. A lot of plants could have been killed by the flood water but we won’t know until the spring when they are due to grow back.

“The south lagoon was flooded completely with flood water.

“The shrimps and other invertebrates have almost certainly been killed off. There is a potential long term effect.”

Visitor officer for Snettisham and Titchwell reserves, Pernille Egeberg, has thanked the public for their response to the appeal.

She said: “People have been extremely generous and we can’t thank them enough.”

For more information on the reserves call 01485 210779.

 

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