By JULIA HORTON
Published on Sunday 17 March 2013 00:00
HUNDREDS of acres of saltmarsh and mudflats could be restored to the shores of the Firth of Forth under plans to improve flood defences.
The proposals will be unveiled this week as part of an RSPB Scotland vision of how the floodplain between
and Bo’ness can be regenerated to create natural flood defences and lost habitat.
The Inner Firth of Forth Futurescape project plans to return walled-off farmland, which was reclaimed from the sea, back to its natural state.
Architects of the project are working with councils and communities on how to adapt or move man-made defences that have divided the sea from the land for hundreds of years in a way that allows tidal waters to permeate coastal land again.
The RSPB planners believe returning the land to its natural state will make it better able to absorb climate change-related high tides and heavy rainfall while also regenerating the landscape for wildlife.
Last year, record downpours and flooding swamped much of the country costing millions of pounds in repairs, insurance claims and lost business, especially for farmers whose crops were destroyed.
The Forth area is one of the worst affected, with one in 13 homes and businesses at risk of flooding, compared to one in 22 homes and one in 13 businesses nationwide.