Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund)

The Interreg IVB North Sea Region Programme

The authors are solely responsible for the content of this report. Material included herein does not represent the opinion of the European Community, and the European Community is not responsible for any use that might be made of it.
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Impact on ecosystem services

Targeted Ecosystem services
Partial ecosystem service valuation studies have been undertaken at Welwick (Burdon et al., 2011). However, this review will also include evidence from other managed realignment sites where lessons could be learned and applied for the ongoing of future managed realignment sites in the Humber.

The development of ecosystem service definitions, categorisations and frameworks has been reviewed, with the ecosystem services and societal benefits (ES&SB) framework. This framework has already been successfully applied to the marine environment, and has been adapted for its application to the estuarine environment, with a particular focus on managed realignment sites. The study undertaken by Burdon et al. (2011) at Welwick managed realignment site showed that there is great potential for such applications.

The key objective of this measure was to create intertidal habitat to compensate for that lost through ABP port development. This is linked with ecosystem services ‘landscape maintenance’ and ‘biodiversity’, and also ‘flood water storage’ and ‘dissipation of tidal and river energy’. It also provides ‘opportunities for recreation and tourism’ through becoming a tourist and bird watching attraction.

Table 4: Targeted ecosystem services
Food: animals  
Water for industrial use  
Water for navigation  
Climate regulation: carbon sequestration  
Regulation extreme events or disturbance: flood water storage X
Regulation extreme events or disturbance: water current reduction  
Regulation extreme events or disturbance: Wave reduction  
Water quantity regulation: drainage of river water  
Water quantity regulation: dissipation of tidal and river energy X
Water quantity regulation: landscape maintenance X
Water quantity regulation: transportation  
Water quality regulation: transport of pollutants and excess nutrients  
Water quality regulation: reduction of excess loads coming from the catchment  
Erosion and sedimentation regulation by water bodies  
Erosion and sedimentation regulation by biological mediation  
"Biodiversity" X
Aesthetic information  
Opportunities for recreation & tourism X
Inspiration for culture, art and design  
Information for cognitive development  

Involved habitats
Intertidal mudflat, saltmarsh and grassland were created as a result of this measure.

Table 5: Ecosystem service analysis for Welwick: Indication of habitat surface and quality change, i.e. situation before versus after measure implementation
MEASURE before After
    surface (%) Quality (1-5) surface (%) quality (1-5)
Marsh habitat above mean high water, floods at
spring tide
0 0 52 3
Intertidal steep habitat floods every tide, mainly steep
zones at marsh edges
0 0 0 0
Intertidal flat habitat floods every tide, flat zones 0 0 41 3
Subtidal shallow habitat never surfaces, less deep than 2m 0 0 0 0
Subtidal moderately deep habitat never surfaces, 2m-5m 0 0 0 0
Subtidal deep habitat never surfaces, deeper than 5m 0 0 0 0
    100   100  

1 = very high quality
2 = high quality
3 = medium quality
4 = low quality
5 = very low quality

The measure Welwick in the polyhaline zone of the Humber estuary was about the creation of intertidal habitat by transforming adjacent land into marshland and intertidal flat habitat with a moderately high change in the habitat quality.

From the ES assessment it is concluded that this measure generates overall a positive expected impact for many ES, with a very positive expected impact for “biodiversity” and a positive expected impact for:
Cultural services
  • Some regulating services: Erosion and sedimentation regulation (by water bodies);
  • Water quality regulation: reduction of excess loads coming from the catchment; Erosion and sedimentation regulation (by biological mediation);
  • Water quantity regulation: landscape maintenance; Climate regulation: Carbon sequestration and burial.
The expected impact for the development target “biodiversity” is very positive.
The expected impact for the different beneficiary groups is overall positive, with a positive expected impact for future use and for local use.

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Important to know

Reports / Measures / Tools

Report: Management measures analysis and comparison