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A time for leadership for the Severn estuary

Opinion-formers and leading experts meet today (Tuesday 9 June) to send a clear message to the Government – ahead of the announcement of finalised shortlisted projects to harness tidal power and energy from the Severn estuary. This decision – and the approach – may have profound consequences for the natural environment of this unique place.

The message is clear – harnessing tidal energy from the Severn should start with the aim of minimising damage to this special place, not seek simply to justify the massive impact of yesterday’s designs.

The meeting takes places at the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust at Slimbridge where the landscapes and abundant wildlife of the Severn estuary inspired Sir Peter Scott. The invited audience will hear a keynote speech by Natural England, followed by talks ranging from the role of the estuary in adapting to climate change, to the importance of the mud, to the unique value of its fisheries and its rich archaeological heritage.

WWT chief executive, Martin Spray, said: “Following Peter Scott’s example we’re using this special place to inspire these influential people to make the right decisions for the future of the Severn. We’re all aware of the difficult choices ahead of us. Now is the time to quantify the value of the Severn, think clever and keep the Severn working as a fully functioning ecosystem.”