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Research into the potential of restoring fringe saltmarsh has led to a multi-year and multi-partnership project ‘Saltmarshes on the Fringe’ that aims to restore approximately three linear kilometres of this valuable habitat to the local and internationally important Eden Estuary. This is a cost-effective and adaptive, yet largely unexplored, coastal management strategy that can improve the ecological status of degraded saltmarshes, extend the lifespan of vulnerable sea defences and create more sustainable and resilient shorelines.
Greenhouse and field based trials will develop methods to increase the transplant yield of native saltmarsh species and reduce wave stress in newly created saltmarsh. The production of saltmarsh restoration guidelines will allow the strategy to be transferred to other estuaries with similarly degraded habitats and shorelines.
The current project is funded by Scottish Natural Heritage and the Fife Environment Trust, and follows on from the support of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, the Ministry of Defence and the St Andrews Links Trust.