A WILDLIFE trust has announced the completion of a a huge wetland creation in Essex to help threatened species. 

The Essex Wildlife Trust's Blue House Farm nature reserve, spanning 287 hectares in North Fambridge, Maldon, is now home to a 40-hectare wetland.

Work on the wetland, located next to the River Crouch, started in spring 2022 and aims to deliver greater breeding opportunities for threatened species.

It also hopes to provide habitat connectivity and ensure climate change resilience through water storage, soil health and carbon sequestration.

Harry Smith, warden at Blue House Farm nature reserve, said: “We are thrilled to announce the completition of this project.

"Wetlands are vital habitats and support over 40 per cent of the world’s wildlife.

"In Essex, where rainfall is less frequent, it is important we are restoring and creating new wetlands for the species that rely upon them.

“Even in its early stages, the new wetland is retaining rainfall well and we are seeing signs of new life within the protected area.

"It’s a really exciting project for the trust.”

Biffa Award helped financially with the project as part of the Landfill Communities Fund.

Rachel Maidment, grants manager for Biffa Award, said: “Biffa Award is extremely delighted to support Essex Wildlife Trust’s project to transform an Essex coastal habitat.

"The work that has taken place at Blue House Farm is vital for the natural environment.”

Thanks to the scheme, threatened species with also be provided with a sizeable habitat for feeding, breeding, migration and respite to help biodiversity flourish.

Since 1995, both lapwing and redshank breeding numbers have faced rapid declines.

Having adapted the landscape with scrapes and ditches, there is now a wetland where there was usually dried land in the spring and summer.

The trust has already noted successful signs of breeding inside the new protected area, including a nesting pair of lapwing and oystercatcher.

In addition to Biffa Award, support also came from Branch Out, Gifts in Wills from Mollie Drake MBE, Clive Fenner and Valerie Thomas.

There were also donations made in memory of Jack Wratten, Ken Taylor and John Bugg.