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Suffolk: Flood defences to be improved

PUBLISHED: 16:51 23 August 2009 | UPDATED: 11:39 06 July 2010

FLOOD defences are going to be improved along a stretch of coastline which is home to breeding pairs of bitterns.

The Environment Agency is preparing to start work to improve defences along the north Suffolk coast between Walberswick and Dunwich.

FLOOD defences are going to be improved along a stretch of coastline which is home to breeding pairs of bitterns.

The Environment Agency is preparing to start work to improve defences along the north Suffolk coast between Walberswick and Dunwich.

The shingle ridge which runs along the beach is no longer maintained regularly by the Environment Agency but later this summer, the embankment around East Hill Marshes, including Dingle Hill, will be raised.

The sluices on the marshes will be refurbished or replaced to make sure that the water level can be controlled when necessary and the embankment at Dingle Reedbeds and Westwood Marshes will also be raised.

During the storm surge of November 2007, the marshes at Walberswick, a protected European conservation site, were flooded after the shingle wall breached and the water took several months to flow back out to sea.

An Environment Agency spokesman said: “The shingle ridge will be raised to provide more protection for the marshes because the main shingle bank is not being maintained any more.

“Raising the ridge will provide an extra layer of protection for the reed beds.”

The reedbeds at Walberswick, just north of the RSPB's Minsmere reserve, are home to a number bird species including bitterns, marsh harriers, herons, reed and sedge warblers.

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