ARSF - Flight GB04/19: Nigg Bay, Kincardine and Skin Flats areas
ARSF project GB04/19: Quality assessment of restored habitats and assessment of factors that affect re-colonisation by invertebrate and avian species. Led by: Sandra Winterbotton. Location: Nigg Bay (Cromarthy Firth) / Kincardine and Skin Flats (Forth Estuary), Scotland.
Managed retreat (or re-alignment) is becoming increasingly used as an alternative to coastal defence and provides the opportunity to restore or create inter-tidal habitats from agricultural land. However, little is known about the rates and spatial variability of habitat restoration, the quality of restored habitats and the factors that affect re-colonisation by invertebrate and avian species. The aim of this project was to use a combination of field and airborne data to assess these key factors at two sites in Scotland. Nigg Bay on the Cromarty Firth was in the very early stages of re-alignment, while the Kincardine and Skinflats mud flats on the Forth Estuary were re-aligned in 2003/2004. The collection of airborne data at such a crucial and early stage of re-alignment provided a rare opportunity to study the effects of managed retreat in detail. This research was essential for informing future policy and for the management of re-aligned sites so that the best possible quality of restored habitats is achieved.
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