• Duckling Days at Wallasea Island

    Some days you really need an aaahhh moment - and my thanks go to the Wallasea Birder for providing just that yesterday afternoon.  This lovely picture of Pochard ducklings with their mum,  happily smiling for the camera on the Wild Coast yesterday, are one of several broods enjoying the peace , tranquillity and sunshine in the borrow dyke which runs along the inside of the seawalls.

    Another picture provided a talking point…

    • 29 Jun 2012
  • Duckling Days on Wallasea

    Some days you really need an aaahhh moment - and my thanks go to the Wallasea Birder for providing just that yesterday afternoon.  This lovely picture of pochard ducklings with their mum,  happily smiling for the camera on the Wild Coast yesterday, are one of several broods enjoying the peace , tranquillity and sunshine in the borrow dyke which runs along the inside of the seawalls.

    Another picture provided a talking point…

    • 29 Jun 2012
  • Wallasea Island Feva


    This weekend , while other sailors watched the wind and waves from the comfort of the clubhouse, some intrepid youngsters revelled in the elements and competed in the Feva Open weekend event hosted by Burnham Sailing Club. The reason for this madness was clearly a love of sailing, but there was an added incentive this year - the shiny new RSPB Wallasea Island Cup, being awarded for the first of what we hope will be many…

    • 18 Jun 2012
  • National Volunteers Week - Walvols weather it again!

    So how did you spend YOUR Jubilee weekend? While many people went on a serial barbecue spree or joined the royal festivities via the wonders of satellite television, my favourite team of volunteers were once again turning out in all weathers on behalf of the Wild Coast project.
    In this national week that celebrates the work of volunteers across the country, our team did us proud. On Saturday, the damp start did not deter…

    • 6 Jun 2012
  • OTT about OTD ( that's Operation Turtle Dove to you and me)


    Each summer, walkers and residents round Canewdon village, just up the road from Wallasea Island, often hear the unmistakeable,gentle purring sound of Turtle doves.  Some are lucky enough to see them in their back gardens!  So you may be surprised to know that this very special summer visitor is a 'bird on the brink', of extinction.
    So up stepped some of our local heroes for nature - the Essex Birdwatchers Society…

    • 11 May 2012
  • Pontoon Floats In

    At last!  A window in the awful weather allowed the contractors to tug the first half of our unloading facility pontoon into place this morning. It was a bit of a foggy, 'soft' morning fo photos but it was great to see the dark shape coming up the River Crouch out of the mists.

    Two 76 metre long pontoons will join to create a single jetty, at which ships will unload the essential ingredient for our new nature…

    • 2 May 2012
  • Wallasea project gets a rocket

    Some days you just have to get out in the sunshine - but not many have as good an excuse as we had today!!  After the recent expert confirmation that what we had found on the marsh was actually the motor of a German V2 rocket from WWII, we had a race against time to retrieve it before the contractors cut off our access with the start of development of the construction site for cell 1.

    Volunteers swiftly moved into position…

    • 30 Mar 2012
  • Wallathon 2012

    St Patrick's Day ( March 17) turned out to be what the Irish refer to as a 'soft' day, but it didn't deter the entrants to our Wallathon 2012! Our invitation to walk the bounds of RSPB Wallasea went out in all the local papers and on BBC Radio Essex and the enthusiasm with which this was received locally was amazing.
     The RSPB Walvol team turned out in force, and in great cheer, with a variety of green hats…

    • 22 Mar 2012
  • The people problem


    Imagine you have a huge house, which you feel safe and comfortable in and it has everything you need - a warm,comfortable bed, cupboards full of food, space for you to raise your family and in which to see them grow up to be strong and healthy.  Then gradually this space is taken over by people. People who don't care that it's your home, don't seem to see you, disrupt your life, your feeding habits and whose dogs scare…

    • 8 Mar 2012
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

     Did you ever notice the inspiration that comes from a good walk?  While tramping the field paths of Canewdon with the all-weather dog this morning, I was cogitating about the possible subjects to blog about this week. The sky was slowly turning from pale pink to blue as suddenly something caught my eye. A shaft of sunlight lit up an object, that was coloured gold with tints of pink and blue, perched in the top of the hedgerow…

    • 24 Feb 2012
  • Thunderbirds are go!

    Any of you who have been watching the Wild Coast Project for a while, may by now be wondering when something BIG is really going to happen - and who can blame you , as it's been talked about for around ten years so far!! So today, as the sun is shining and corn buntings appear to have decided it's Spring ( they are calling from every possible perch!) I thought I'd run over what we can expect to see happen this…

    • 17 Feb 2012
  • World Wetlands Day 2012

    It may have escaped your notice, but yesterday, was World Wetlands Day! World Wetlands Day has been  celebrated on or around 2 February globally every year since 1997, and Wallasea Island will eventually be a prime area to celebrate this habitat.
    Freshwater wetlands are rich and diverse habitats. Although they were once common in our landscape, a long history of drainage, development and pollution means that only a small…

    • 3 Feb 2012
  • Birds-Eye View - the Wallasea Webcam

    If you are looking out the window at the wind and rain and want to know what is happening on Wallasea Island, or you are separated from us by land or sea ( hello Burnham and Banbridge!), there is a nice dry, comfortable way to see the what is happening on the island.
    Regular visitors may have noticed our webcam mast, standing tall about half way ( 1 mile) along the public footpath on the Northern side of the island.This…

    • 20 Jan 2012
  • Wallasea Events 2012

    As I look out of my office window, across the river to Burnham-on-Crouch, it looks like a Spring day - sun shining, grass green and a male blackbird rather hopefully chasing a female  around the farmyard. Yes, the sap is rising unseasonable early and signs of a new season are all around us!
    With this hope of brighter days ahead come plans for the year's event season and piles of booking forms for marquees and portaloos…

    • 13 Jan 2012
  • Euro-Wallasea - ecosystem services under the spotlight

    Our Wild Coast Project has recently been one of 5 case studies in an international report analysing the cost benefits of large projects with high biodiversity relevance, comparing traditional engineered approaches with ecosystem-based approaches.
    The study financed by the European Commission, has been carried out by the Ecologic Institute, Berlin in co-operation with the Environmental Change Institute (ECI), Oxford University…

    • 5 Jan 2012
  • Christmas Goose from afar for Wallasea Island

     Most people are thinking about birds at this time of year - but more of the cooking and eating variety! Well we haven't got turkeys on the island, but we have got geese! We are talking dark-bellied brent geese here, or if you like latin, Branta bernicla bernicla, the smallest goose in the country.  They started to arrive in their family groups a month or two ago and it was lovely to hear the familiar honking as they…

    • 16 Dec 2011
  • Water, water everywhere...

    There seemed to be a watery theme to last weekend...
    Firstly, we had flood warnings and high tides along the Essex coast. While Working on wallasea island one forgets that it's an island sometimes, as the causeway is not covered regularly. Then out of the blue, along comes a high tide to remind you Mother Nature is still in charge!
    I was planning to nip off to a meeting in Benfleet, mid morning on Friday, when I heard…

    • 12 Dec 2011
  • Wallasea's welcome grows wider - access for all

    Access for all is something very dear to our hearts here on Wallasea Island, so it has been a constant bugbear, and not a little embarrassing, to admit to our shortfallings with regards disabled access. Our kissing gate access from the carpark has been for pedestrians only, so wheelchair users and children in buggies have been excluded unless by prior arrangement or a struggle over the gate!
    However, thanks to the joinery…

    • 2 Dec 2011
  • SEOs, Mipits and Barwits

    Every industry has its own jargon and acronyms and anyone working for the RSPB soon discovers the bird version. Having recently been immersed in web design meetings, I might  be forgiven for confusion at reports of record numbers of SEOs on Wallasea ( Short-eared owls not Search Engine Optimisers) and many non-birders would perhaps refer to me as a barwit or mipit for this! And all this rambling has been brought about…

    • 24 Nov 2011
  • Dogs - man's best friend or wardens nightmare?

    Walking the dog is a pastime that not only gets many of us out of doors daily, but keeps us fit and allows us to indulge in a spot of 'bad birdwatching'and general nature-watching. Research has shown that this also helps to keep a lot of us mentally healthy - though I can't speak for myself on this one! However, unfortunately for those of us who keep to the rules and clean up after our pooch, there are a minority of our…

    • 16 Nov 2011
  • Great White flies into Wallasea

     Many of you may have noticed the rapid spread of Little Egrets through the country in past years. I remember well, dashing off to a WWT site in Northern Ireland where the first few of these tropical-looking birds visited Strangford Lough a few years ago, and now they are to be found throughout much of the North.  This, it seems is an indication of climate change, global warming and what the compilers of the Bird Atlas…

    • 3 Nov 2011
  • Marshland Merits

    Mudflats and marshland, such as those we see round Wallasea Island, may look flat and boring to the uninitiated, but this threatened landscape is worth much more than many people realise.  Current terms such as carbon sink, ecosystem services and coastal management are increasingly brought into environmental conversations as the global financial situation forces everything to be assessed in terms of monetary value - so…

    • 27 Oct 2011
  • Island Inspiration for creative writers

    If its raining when you want to walk the dog, do as I did this morning and head for the driest part of England - Wallasea Island. Dark, forbidding clouds bore down on Southend to the south, Chelmsford  to the north- west and the remote Dengie Peninsula across the river Crouch, but our seawall path was as dry as a bone. This is something to be extremely grateful for if, like me , you have an all-weather dog!
    As Autumn draws…

    • 13 Oct 2011
  • Wallasea-Henge emerges from the marsh


    For a long time now we've been waiting for some visible evidence of construction on our island. Not something most people would hanker after, I guess, but for us it means that 'Europe's largest intertidal habitat creation project' is finally underway!  So it is with glee that I can now upload this picture...

    This large, Neolithic-looking structure that has risen from the marshes, but looks like it has…

    • 6 Oct 2011
  • Sitting on the dock of the bay


    Apologies to Otis fans, but it sounds better than "sitting on the wall of the Crouch", and that is what canny visitors are doing this week as the temperature rises.
    Yesterday, I was among a large,sweltering hallfull of people,in attendance at the Essex Coastal Conference. But as much as many of us probably would have liked to have been "watching the tide flow away", it was inspiring to see and hear so many people…

    • 30 Sep 2011