The Mersey Estuary and the Mersey Narrows and Wirral Foreshore are both designated as internationally important Special Protection Areas (SPAs) for their shore-bird assemblages
After decades of improvements to this internationally important wildlife refuge, it now faces a new, perhaps even greater challenge. In 2011, multi billion-pound plans to harness the estuary’s tidal flow were put on hold, safeguarding – for now – populations of wading birds, ducks and fish that may have been severely impacted by proposals to build a tidal barrage. With marine life and seabirds under threat from all angles, protecting these habitats is of crucial importance.
We have been involved in previous consultations over Mersey Barrage tidal energy plans, along with Cheshire Wildlife Trust, and will continue to monitor any movements and discussions.
The two Wildlife Trusts have published our views in a document entitled Mersey Matters: this will need to be updated should any new proposal come forward.
Liverpool City Region’s Metro Mayor’s Office has commissioned an economic feasibility study for tidal energy production from the Mersey Estuary. That has yet to report, but the assessment of a broadly similar proposal in Swansea Bay, published in June 2018, suggests that the economics continue not to stack up. No similar assessment has been commissioned specifically on the international, national and local impacts on the natural environment.