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Sea Wall Biodiversity Handbook

Sea Walls
Sea walls are well known as vital engineered structures for the defence of our flat coast lands, the Pevensey Levels, the North Kent Marshes and a significant part of the Essex coast. What is less well known is the importance of these structures for wildlife. Made up of a range of habitats, sea walls lie at the interface of the shoreline, be it of an estuary or the open sea, with a marine influence and, on the landward side, grazing marshes and other agricultural habitats. They have strong linear characteristics, including their continuous nature and long length: 2141 km in England with the county having the greatest length being Essex (450 km).  This combination, not surprisingly, serves to support a wide range of flora and fauna, some of which are special to sea walls and move along them and into the habitats on either side.

The Handbook
Tim Gardiner, Biodiversity Officer at the Environment Agency, Rob Pilcher, Ecology Team Leader for North England at AECOM and Max Wade, Technical Director (Ecology) at AECOM, have a long standing interest in the ecology and management of sea wall habitats. Their handbook on sea wall biodiversity, brings together a wealth of knowledge about this Cinderella habitat, based on the authors’ experience of both practical management and the flora and fauna of sea walls. The handbook highlights the breadth of plant and animals species living and relying on sea walls and provides practical guidance for managers of sea defences to ensure that their biodiversity value is conserved and enhanced. The handbook is published by RPS and is supported by the Essex Field Club as the hosting organisation.

Download a low resolution copy of the handbook here

Full citation: Gardiner T., Pilcher R. & Wade M. (2015) Sea Wall Biodiversity Handbook. RPS, Cambridge.

Sea Wall Cover Copyright: Tim Gardiner

Sea Wall and Coastal Research - papers, reports and conference presentations

Gardiner T. (in prep) The effect of late cutting on bumblebees (Bombus sp.) in sea wall grassland. Aspects of Applied Biology.

Gardiner T. (in prep) Sea walls: an overlooked wildlife resource. CIEEM Habitat Creation in the East Conference (abstract).

Naylor L., Coombes M., Kippen H., Horton B., Gardiner T., Cordell M.R., Simm J. & Underwood, G.J.C. (in press). Developing a business case for greening of hard coastal and estuarine infrastructure: preliminary results from the IGGI Frame project. Proceedings of the Institute of Civil Engineering.

Gardiner T. (2017) Making a B-Line for Essex sea walls.
The B-Lines Update 10, p. 3. https://www.buglife.org.uk/b-lines-hub link.

Gardiner T., Pilcher R. & Wade M. (2017) Sea Wall Orthoptera. The GSG Newshopper 5,
pp. 26-27.https://www.iucn.org/sites/dev/files/gsg_newshopper_2017_high_res.pdf link.

Slee N.J.D., Underwood G.J.C. & Gardiner T. (2017) Sea wall terraces – a green-grey infrastructure engineering solution.  Progress report Jan 2017. Unpublished report, University of Essex.

Gardiner T., Ringwood Z., Fairweather G., Perry R. & Woodrow L. (2017) Introductions of two insect species threatened by sea-level rise in Essex, United Kingdom: Fisher’s estuarine moth Gortyna borelii lunata (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) and Mottled grasshopper Myrmeleotettix maculatus (Orthoptera: Acrididae). International Zoo Yearbook 51, pp. 69-78.
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/izy.12148/full link.

Cousins L.J., Cousins M.S., Gardiner T. & Underwood G.J.C. (2017) Factors influencing the initial establishment of salt marsh vegetation on engineered sea wall terraces in SE England. Ocean and Coastal Management 143, pp. 96-104. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0964569116303003 link.

Gardiner T. & Strachan C. (2016) Corky-fruited water-dropwort Oenanthe pimpinelloides in Suffolk: an update from the main population at Bourne Bridge, Ipswich. Suffolk Natural History 52, pp. 1-6.

Gardiner T., Pilcher R. & Wade M. (2016) The changing flora of Essex sea walls. Essex Naturalist 33, pp. 121-132.

Kuramoto N., Akaishi M., Mishima R., Tanio T. & Gardiner T. (2016) Micro-distribution and seed germination characteristics of Aster tripolium in Tokyo and England. British Ecological Society Annual Meeting, ACC, Liverpool, 11-14 December 2016 (abstract).  https://www.researchgate.net/publication/311588634_Micro-distribution_and_seed_germination_characteristics_of_Aster_tripolium_in_Tokyo_and_England link.

Badmin J. (2016) Sea Wall Biodiversity Handbook - book review. British Journal of Entomology
& Natural History
29.

Betts C. (2016) Sea Wall Biodiversity Handbook - book review. Invertebrate Conservation News 79, pp. 12-13.

Gardiner T., Pilcher R. & Wade M. (2016) Scrub management on sea walls - maintaining biodiversity while achieving flood-risk management. Conservation Land Management 14, pp. 9-15.

Gardiner T. & England, E. (2015) Enhancing biodiversity on the Shoeburyness sea walls.
Sanctuary 44, p. 45. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/469631/15-07-275_Sanctuary_Magazine__FINAL_lowres_.pdf link

Gardiner T. & Seago B. (2015) The initial effects of the December 2013 storm surge on scarce Orthoptera. Essex Naturalist 32, pp. 75-79.

Gardiner T., Pilcher R. & Wade M. (2015) Sea Wall Biodiversity Handbook. RPS, Cambridge.

Gardiner T. & Vetori C. (2015) Incorporating pollinator friendly grassland management regimes into the Thames Estuary Asset Management (TEAM 2100) programme of works. ECSA 55 Conference 6-9 September 2015 (abstract).

Gardiner T. (2014) Essex and its habitats: Seawalls. In: J Dobson & D Tansley. Mammals of Essex. pp. 22-26.

Gardiner T. (2014) Climate change drives insects up the wall. Bulletin of the Amateur Entomologists' Society 73, pp. 151-152. Abstract of presentation at AES Invertebrate Conservation Conference 31 October 2014.

Gardiner T. (2014) Response of glow-worms Lampyris noctiluca to scrub clearance on a sea wall flood defence at Creeksea, Essex, England. Conservation Evidence 11, p. 60.
http://www.conservationevidence.com/individual-study/5491 link

McMellor S., Aslam S. N., Underwood G.J.C. & Gardiner T. (2014) Sea wall berms- a soft engineering solution?. Unpublished report, University of Essex.

Page S. & Gardiner T. (2013) Sea wall bees and management. Presentation at Bumblebee Conservation Trust - Managing Habitats for Bees Conference 7 November 2013. Talk slides
http://bumblebeeconservation.org/about-us/case-study/conference-managing-habitats-for-bumblebees/ link

Gardiner T. (2013) The first cut is the deepest? Managing seawalls to facilitate the range expansion of insects. Presentation (with abstract) at RES Climate Change Special Interest Group, 16 October 2013
http://www.royensoc.co.uk/sites/default/files/CLIMATE_CHANGE_PROGRAMME_BOOKLET_2013.pdf link

Gardiner T. (2013) A study of Forficula lesnei Finot, 1887 (Dermaptera: Forficulidae) along the Stour Estuary. Entomologist's Gazette 64, pp. 61-64.
Entomologist's Gazette 64 61-64

Gardiner T. (2013) A nightingale sang on a Stour sea wall. Essex Field Club Newsletter 61, pp. 13-14.

Gardiner T. & Charlton P. (2012) Effects of seawater flooding on Orthoptera and the yellow meadow ant Lasius flavus during New Zealand pygmy weed Crassula helmsii eradication at Old Hall Marshes, Essex, England. Conservation Evidence 9, pp. 50-53.
http://www.conservationevidence.com/individual-study/3582 link

Gardiner T. (2012) The discovery of Lesne's earwig in Holbrook Bay including an assessment of the importance of the Shotley Peninsula for Dermaptera and Orthoptera. Transactions of the Suffolk Naturalists' Society 48, pp. 83-87
http://www.suffolkbrc.org.uk/sites/default/files/48/TSNS48K.pdf link

Gardiner T. (2012) How does mowing of grassland on sea wall flood defences affect insect assemblages in Eastern England? In: Grasslands: Types, Biodiversity and Impacts, Nova Science Publishers, Ed. Wen-Jun Zhang, pp. 11-29
http://www.researchgate.net/publication/267644487 link

Gardiner T. (2012) Essex Orthoptera update for 2011 including an assessment of the current status of the Great Green Bush-cricket on the east coast. Essex Naturalist 29, pp. 57-65.

Gardiner T. & Benton T. (2011) The importance of sea walls for the moss carder bee Bombus muscorum in Essex. Unpublished report for Hymettus
http://www.hymettus.org.uk/downloads/Bombus_muscorum_seawalls.pdf link

Gardiner T. (2011) Response of shrubby sea-blite Suaeda vera to cutting on a sea wall flood defence at Goldhanger, Essex, England. Conservation Evidence, 8, pp. 1-5
http://www.conservationevidence.com/individual-study/2332 link

Gardiner T. (2011) Mottled grasshopper translocation to sand dunes in Essex, England. In: Pritpal S. (ed.) Global Re-introduction Perspectives: 2011. IUCN/SSC Re-introduction Specialist Group and Abu Dhabi, UAE: Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi, Gland, Switzerland, pp. 5-9.
https://portals.iucn.org/library/efiles/documents/2011-073.pdf link

Gardiner T., Seago B., Benton T. & Dobson J. (2010) The use of bat detectors reveals a widespread population of Grey Bush-cricket Platycleis albopunctata at Colne Point and St Osyth naturists’ beach. Essex Naturalist 27, pp. 209-213.

Gardiner T. (2010) Successful translocation of the locally rare mottled grasshopper Myrmeleotettix maculatus to Jaywick flood defences in Essex, England. Conservation Evidence 7, pp. 106-110.
http://www.conservationevidence.com/individual-study/2325 link

Gardiner T. & Ringwood Z. (2010) Species richness of orthopteroid insects and incidence of a rare moth on an island nature reserve threatened by sea level rise in the Walton Backwaters in eastern England. Entomologist's Gazette 61, pp. 251-261.
Entomologist's Gazette 61 (1) 2010

Gardiner T. (2009) Distribution of the Scaly Cricket Pseudomogoplistes vicentae Gorochov (Orth: Gryllidae) in relation to public access at Chesil Beach in Dorset. Entomologists’ Record & Journal of Variation 121, pp. 292-295.

Gardiner T. (2009) Macropterism of Roesel’s bushcricket Metrioptera roeselii in relation to climate change and landscape structure in eastern England. Journal of Orthoptera Research 18, pp. 95-102.
Journal of Orthoptera Research 18 2009

Gardiner T & Hassall M (2009) Does microclimate affect grasshopper populations after cutting of hay in improved grassland? Journal of Insect Conservation 13, pp. 97-102.
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10841-007-9129-y# link

Gardiner T. (2009) Hartwort Tordylium maximum discovered on Tilbury Marshes. EFC Newsletter 60, p. 14.
http://www.essexfieldclub.org.uk/portal?p=Archive&s=199&o=0014&searchText=gardiner&keyWords=gardiner"ed=0 link

Gardiner T. & Haines K. (2008) Intensive grazing by horses detrimentally affects orthopteran assemblages in floodplain grassland along the Mardyke River Valley, Essex, England. Conservation Evidence 5, pp. 38-44.
http://www.conservationevidence.com/individual-study/2277 link

Harvey P. & Gardiner T. (2006) Pitfall trapping of scarce Orthoptera at a coastal nature reserve in Essex, UK. Journal of Insect Conservation 10, pp. 371-373.
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10841-006-9013-1# link

Harvey P., Gardiner T. & Smith D. (2005) Grey Bush-cricket Platycleis albopunctata (Goeze) rediscovered in Essex. Essex Naturalist 22, pp. 58-59.

Ringwood Z., Gardiner T., Steiner A. & Hill J. (2002) Comparison of factors influencing the habitat characteristics of Gortyna borelii (Noctuidae) and its larval foodplant Peucedanum officinale in the United Kingdom and Germany. Nota Lepidopterologica 25, pp. 23-38.