Conservation of the Swale Estuary and Creeks
The Estate has an active interest in the management and conservation of The Swale Estuary, Oare Creek and Faversham Creek, and works closely with Hollowshore Fisheries on the day-to-day activities.
As part of the Marine Bill, which is currently in the process of adoption by Parliament, the Government has identified draft Marine Conservation Zones (dMCZs) which are designed to ring-fence a controlled and protected environment for the benefits of biodiversity. The Estate has made both verbal and written representations to the consultative body involved in this, Balanced Seas, in order to understand the implications of the proposals. The scarcity of baseline data and the lack of detail in terms of the socio-economic impact were identified at a stakeholder meeting in 2011. Following that, the governing bodies overseeing the proposals (Joint Nature & Conservation Committee and Natural England) have commissioned further scientific data collection in the Estuary and the Creeks.
The Estate is at the forefront of protecting the local socio-economic vitality and the biodiversity of the Estuary and the Creeks.
The Estuary and the Creeks also provide an increasingly rare saltmarsh habitat for wading birds and protected species of geese and fowl. The practice of land reclamation throughout the last century, using sea walls, has left the British coast with a noticeable dearth of natural saltmarsh. The Swale Estuary and Faversham and Oare Creeks were affected by this practice, but have maintained some critical saline habitat which is exploited by the marine birdlife. This is crucial for the biodiversity of the Estuary and the Creeks, and the Estate continues to ensure its preservation.
Balanced Seas was a project working in partnership with all those with an interest in the marine environment to identify and recommend Marine Conservation Zones for the inshore and off-shore waters of south-east England.