SandThe biggest threat to the natural environment is climate change. Therefore it is critical that the UK produces as much energy as possible from renewable sources – as quickly as possible.

There is now a much greater awareness that, without healthy ecosystems, it will not be possible to stabilise the climate. However, in choosing the different energy options, there is a need to minimise the impact on major natural systems, habitats and wildlife.

The Severn Estuary is extraordinarily rich in nature – providing extensive feeding and roosting sites for large populations of waders and wildfowl. It also has important populations of migratory fish species, including salmon and lamprey. The tidal flats and coastal habitats are sensitive to changes in tidal flows, drainage and sediment loss.

Whatever schemes are adopted to capture power from the tides in the Severn, there are real risks to the complex ecosystems in the Estuary.  However, finding an optimum blend of energy creation and natural environment outcomes has to be our goal.