In 2023 we started the second phase of our 3Cs project. This builds on the initial phase and aims to take forward work on the collaborative development of a Regional Coast Plan.

Thriving coastal habitats are important for nature, for livelihoods, and for wellbeing. They are also play a crucial role in building resilence to climate change and achieving Net Zero goals. Our coast supports many important habitats including saltmarsh, kelp forests, and seagrass beds but we need more, bigger and better marine and intertidal habitats. The Berwickshire and Northumberland Marine Nature Partnership are working with the Durham Heritage Coast Partnership to produce a Regional Coastal Habitat Restoration Plan covering Berwickshire and North East England. Using funding from the Environment Agency, we are holding workshops with partners to colloboratively identify restoration opportunities and priorities and pinpoint joint actions which our local community of marine practioners need to undertake to realise our ambitions. The work forms one of the regional demonstration projects within the National Framework for Coastal Coordination (NFCC) project led on by the Coastal Partnerships Network.

In March 2023 we held two initial workshops, facilitated for us by staff from The Blooming Platypus. The workshops brought people together to review existing opportunity mapping produced by the Environment Agency’s ReMeMaRe project, share details of current or proposed habitat restoration opportunities, identify potential new habitat restoration opportunities and discuss the current barriers standing in the way of delivering coastal habitat restoration at scale. The workshops highlighted some core locations for the restoration and enhancements of coastal habitats and highlighted some of the barriers that will need to be overcome in order to realise local ambitions. Strong messages came out of both workshops about theneed for additional resources and about the important role of  information sharing, skills development, and capacity building insupporting local delivery.

Work on the plan is ongoing with further workshops anticipated for the autumn and winter of 2023. The next steps are to refine the information gathered and to agree collaborative actions. We will also be looking at how to better integrate habitatr estoration with the work of other coastal sectors such as historic environment, coastal defence and access.

Photo credit: The Bloomg Platypus