THE Witham MP and Home Secretary has praised Government funding for a pioneering new nature project in Tolleshunt D’arcy.

Old Hall Marshes in Tolleshunt D’arcy will be part of a project which has received a £99,931 Government grant from the Natural Environment Investment Readiness Fund (NEIRF).

This project is aimed at developing a saltmarsh code to support habitat restoration activities.

It seeks to develop an exact and science-based voluntary certification standard for those who want to promote the climate benefits of saltmarsh restoration.

And the innovative project will provide assurances to voluntary carbon market buyers that the climate benefits are measurable and permanent.

Priti Patel said: “I am very pleased to hear of this successful application and to see investment from a pioneering new Government fund going into encouraging private investors to invest in nature and in tackling climate change.

“This kind of innovation and scientific input is vital if we are to meet our zero-carbon commitment and at the same time protect and maintain natural habitats for the future.”

Saltmarshes are important for both wildlife and people. Plants and animals adapted to living in brackish water make it their home and people benefit from the resources they provide.

Essex Wildlife Trust say on their website: "The role saltmarshes play in defending our coasts from erosion by waves is increasingly recognised, and efforts are being made to protect and restore them.

"Although saltmarshes tend to need little conservation management, many have a long tradition of low-intensity grazing, which is important in maintaining their diversity.”

Read more about saltwater marshes here.

The successful application for the project was made by the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology at Lancaster University and involves three other sites as well as Old Hall Marshes - Skeffling, East Yorkshire; Arne Moors, Dorset and Steart Marshes in Somerset.

Up to £100,000 each from the £10 million fund has been awarded to environmental groups, businesses and local authorities across the country to develop innovative approaches to generating revenue from the wide range of benefits that nature provides.