What happens to our dredgings?

Dredging in SYH

Every winter, SYH uses its much-loved dredger Muddy Boots to clear thousands of cubic metres of silt from the marina and the entrance channel, to maintain a minimum depth of 2.5 metres throughout the marina. Dredging is carried out under licence and the terms and conditions of the licence must be tightly adhered to.

All that mud has to go somewhere, and under a scheme called “beneficial use of dredgings”, it is discharged on to the foreshore, and from 2014/15, also on to the marsh area at two points east and west of the marina.

The marshes in Levington Creek and around Loompit Lake are recognised as some of the most important bird-life habitats on the river Orwell. Migratory birds overwintering on the Stour and Orwell marshes include dunlin, Brent geese, redshank (also seen on autumn passage), pintail, grey plover, black-tailed godwit and knot.

The aim is to restore the intertidal area and salt marshes, which are being degraded by coastal squeeze and sea level rise. Initially the discharge areas are being surrounded with a very low brushwood structure to help to hold the mud in place, and for the first couple of seasons the effects will be monitored closely. If all goes well, over the next 25-30 years the silt from the marina should help to maintain and enhance the habitat and the wildlife environment.

 Redshank (c) Suffolk Wildlife Trust


 Redshank, photo (c) Suffolk Wildlife Trust