Steart Peninsula

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Steart Point

The Steart Peninsula (grid reference ST274459) is a peninsula in Somerset, England. At its outermost tip is Fenning Island, at the tip of which is Steart Point. It consists largely of low-lying flat farmland, and projects northwards on the west side of Stockland Reach, the lower stretches of the estuary of the River Parrett.

Bridgwater Bay, a National Nature Reserve, lies to the north of the peninsula, and on the south side of the bay are three coastal commons — from west to east these are Catsford Common, Wall Common and Steart Common.

The main settlement on the peninsula is the village of Steart, but two other villages, Stockland Bristol and Otterhampton sit at the peninsula's base. A single minor road links the village of Steart to these other villages. The River Parrett Trail runs along the peninsula.

West of the peninsula are the village of Stolford and Hinkley Point, and to the south is the village of Combwich.

The Steart peninsula has flooded many times during the last millennium. The most severe recent floods occurred in 1981. By 1997, a combination of coastal erosion, current sea level rise and wave action had made some of the defences distinctly fragile and at risk from failure. As a result in 2002 The Environment Agency produced the Stolford to Combwich Coastal Defence Strategy Study to examine options for the future.[1] In July 2010, the Environment Agency presented a plan to convert the peninsula into wetland habitat,[2] costing £17–20 million.,[3] which includes land purchase costs of £5–7 million. It will be the largest wetland habitat creation scheme in England.[2] Work began on the programme in May 2012[4] and was completed in September 2014.[5] An Environment Agency spokesman said "The Steart project will directly protect homes, businesses and the surrounding infrastructure. Salt marsh is a natural flood risk management scheme. Like coral reefs or mangroves in the tropics, salt marsh takes energy out of the tide and reduces wave height." Ian Liddell-Grainger, the MP for Bridgwater and West Somerset described the scheme as a "national disgrace", adding "It's a complete and utter waste of money."[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Stolford to Combwich Coastal Defence Strategy Study" (PDF). Environment Agency. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-10-31. 
  2. ^ a b "Plans to flood Steart peninsula to create wetlands". BBC. 5 July 2010. Retrieved 26 July 2010. 
  3. ^ Richard Benyon (28 February 2011). "Steart Coastal Management Project". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). House of Commons. col. 66W. 
  4. ^ "The Steart Peninsula Project". 
  5. ^ a b Morris, Steven (2014-09-08). "£20m salt marsh to create wildlife habitat and fight erosion from sea". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-09-08. 

Coordinates: 51°12′36″N 3°02′06″W / 51.210°N 3.035°W / 51.210; -3.035