Ironically, whilst saltmarsh is at threat from sea-level rise, it is also good at protecting homes and businesses against sea- level rise and the greater risk of flooding resulting from climate change.
Saltmarsh is a natural buffer between the sea and the land, taking the power out of waves. We must, therefore, not simply give up on it, but provide new areas for saltmarsh to regenerate.
In 2003, RSPB Scotland did this at our Nigg Bay reserve on the Cromarty Firth, by building a new sea wall further inland and allowing saltmarsh plants to recolonise. With our partners, we now have a larger vision to create saltmarsh along the banks of the inner Forth which will benefit wildlife and protect communities from flooding in the future. Ultimately, this requires funding and the Scottish Government has an opportunity to set aside money for this in its forthcoming budget.
Senior Land Use Policy Officer (Climate)