Essex Field Club on Facebook

Video about the Club Essex Field Club video

Conistra vaccinii
find out more... Chestnut Copyright: Ben Sale

Essex Field Club
Essex Field Club
registered charity
no 1113963
HLF Logo A-Z Page Index

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: c. 2100 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.

Referenced in Solitary Bees by Ted Benton (2017, Pelagic Publishing) and Saltmarshes by Clive Chatters (2017, Bloomsbury).

Sea Wall Cover Copyright: Tim Gardiner

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

Gardiner, T. & Fargeaud, K. (2020) The response of bumblebee forage plants to 'cut and rut' restoration management of sea wall grassland on the Dengie Peninsula, Essex, England. Conservation Evidence 17: 27-31.

Gardiner, T. & Fargeaud, K. (2020) Microhabitats of planted sea wall strips used by pollinators and Orthoptera. Journal of Orthoptera Research 29: 77-82.

Mishima, R., Gardiner, T. & Kuramoto, N. (2019) Examination into the distribution of Aster tripolium L. on a seawall in Kasai Rinkai Park. Journal of the Japanese Society of Revegetation Technology 45(1): 196-199.

Gardiner, T. & Fargeaud, K. (2019) The effects of late cutting on threatened bumblebees Bombus spp. in sea wall grassland at Goldhanger Creek, Essex, England. Conservation Evidence 16, pp. 33-36. link.

Gardiner, T. & Seago, B. (2019) The tide is high, but it€™s holding on: response of the grey bush-cricket Platycleis albopunctata to a storm surge. Journal of Orthoptera Research 28, pp. 125-128. link.

Gardiner, T., Kuramoto, N. & Matsuba, M. (2019) Big in Japan: The importance of riparian corridors for Orthoptera. Journal of Orthoptera Research 28, pp. 27-35. link.

Fargeaud K. & Gardiner T. (in prep) How grazing affects Orthoptera on flood defense embankments. Newshopper.

Fargeaud K. & Gardiner T. (2018) The response of Orthoptera to grazing on flood defence embankments in Europe. Journal of Orthoptera Research 27, pp. 53-60. link.

Fargeaud K. & Gardiner T. (2018) Keeping our seawalls buzzing. Country-Side 34 (8), pp. 13-14.

Fargeaud K. & Gardiner T. (2018) Keeping our sea walls buzzing. British Naturalists' Association Grades Newsletter 10, pp. 2-3.

Gardiner T. & Fargeaud K. (2018) The effect of late cutting on bumblebees (Bombus spp.) in sea wall grassland. Aspects of Applied Biology 139, pp. 43-50. link.

Kuramoto, N. , Mishima, R., Okada, H. & Gardiner, T. (2017) Aster tripolium (sea aster) and greening of the sea wall in Tokyo Bay. 8th Asian Wetland Symposium - Wetlands For Sustainable Life. 7-11 November 2018, Saga, Japan.

Kuramoto N., Okada H., Mishima R. & Gardiner T. (2017) Has Aster tripolium become a keystone species in Tokyo Bay? BES Aquatic Ecology Special Interest Group Annual Meeting 15 September 2017 (abstract).

Gardiner T. (2017) Sea walls: an overlooked wildlife resource. CIEEM Habitat Creation in the East of England Conference, 13 September 2017 (abstract) link

Naylor L., Coombes M., Kippen H., Horton B., Gardiner T., Cordell M.R., Simm J. & Underwood, G.J.C. (2017). Developing a business case for greening of hard coastal and estuarine infrastructure: preliminary results.  Proceedings of the Institute of Civil Engineering Paper 85, pp. 1-11.

Contributed mowing and saltmarsh case studies to:
Naylor L A., Kippen H., Coombes M.A., Horton B., MacArthur M. & Jackson N. (2017).
Greening the Grey: a framework for integrated green grey infrastructure (IGGI).
University of Glasgow Report. link.

Gardiner T. (2017) Making a B-Line for Essex sea walls.
The B-Lines Update 10, p. 3. link.

Gardiner T., Pilcher R. & Wade M. (2017) Sea Wall Orthoptera. The GSG Newshopper 5,
pp. 26-27. 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. 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. link.

Hochkirch A., Oromi P., Braud Y., Gardiner T., Vahed K., Ferreira S., Presa J.J., Roesti C., Rutschmann F., Dusoulier F., Zuna-Kratky T., Monnerat C. & Fontana P. (2016). Pseudomogoplistes vicentae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T68460220A74521891 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. 56-60. link.

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). link.

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

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. 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. 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 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 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. 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 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 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 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 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. 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. 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. link

Gardiner T. (2009) Hartwort Tordylium maximum discovered on Tilbury Marshes. EFC Newsletter 60, p. 14."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. 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. 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.