WWT donates £140,000 to make Bridgwater tidal barrier sustainable

£140,000 was given to a charity to help build a new sustainable tidal barrier.

The Wildfowl and Wetland Trust (WWT) will assist Somerset County Council in delivering “environmental benefits” alongside the new floodgate in Bridgwater.

The money will go towards increasing biodiversity and promoting wildlife.

Once completed, the £128m barrier is expected to protect around 11,300 homes and 1,500 businesses from flooding.

WWT, which operates the Steart Marshes nature reserve at the mouth of the Parrett River and helped establish the Meads ‘eco park’ at Bridgwater’s west end, is expected to meet the £140,000 promised by the county council through grant applications. and fundraising.

Once the project near Express Park is complete, the money will go towards increasing biodiversity and promoting wildlife.

According to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, the charity in Slimbridge was initially commissioned for two years to “identify opportunities and projects that will increase sustainability and deliver environmental benefits” around the barrier area, and this work was funded by the district council.

“They’re a charity with extensive experience and success in fundraising,” said Nick Tait, the county council’s policy service manager.

The Sedgemoor District Council and Environment Agency (EA) jointly submitted proposals for the new barrier in December 2019 and final approval was given in January 2022.

Early versions of the tidal barrier plans, published in 2018, envisioned the creation of a riparian park on the west bank of the river and connecting it to both Express Park and Chilton Trinity via a bike link over the barrier.


While the bike link is expected to be maintained – and will be connected to new bike links to the city centre, funded by the government’s leveling fund – further details of the park have not been made public.

In December, the council agreed to hand over the land within Express Park to the Environment Agency to assist with the construction efforts.

However, major construction work on the barrier was partially delayed after asbestos was found near the new access road being built in Saltlands Lane.

However, Mr. Tait said “detailed design work” will be completed this year, allowing construction to accelerate in early 2024.

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