Public consultation begins on Ouse Washes habitat creation project

PLANS to create a wildlife haven for birds and a recreation area for visitors on the Ouse Washes are the subject of a 10-week public consultation launched by the Environment Agency

The 500 wet grassland habitat site near Coveney will include a new water storage lake, to be surrounded by a network of public rights of way and with opportunities for public access and use.

Two public exhibitions are being staged, and a two month on-line public consultation has been launched to get the community’s views about proposed access and recreation facilities. The consultation is open until December 14.

Exhibitions are being held at Coveney Village Hall on Thursday October 25; and at Witcham Village Hall on Tuesday November 6, both run from 1pm to 7pm.

Peter Doktor, Environment Agency Project Manager for the scheme said: “We urge people to come along and discuss the proposal with us. We’d like to hear their thoughts and concerns on the proposed scheme and gain feedback and ideas.”

“The Ouse Washes are a vital part of the defences that protect the Fens from flooding and are also of international importance for wildlife. However, in recent decades the numbers of some protected bird species using the Washes has reduced significantly due to changing patterns of flooding, such as seen this year.

“The Ouse Washes Habitat Creation Project has been set up to reverse this decline by creating a new wildlife haven through the establishment of wet grassland habitat.”

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At the exhibitions, visitors will be able to view the proposals and make comments to Environment Agency staff. The Agency expects to apply for planning permission early next year.

The public can also find information on the proposals and provide comments during the consultation by visiting the website www.environment-agency.gov.uk/ousewashes or writing to Peter Doktor (Project Manager), Environment Agency, Dragonfly House, 2 Gilders Way,Norwich NR3 1UB for a hard copy.

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