ABPmer in association with Jacobs Babtie and Royal Haskoning produced a Severn Estuary Coastal Habitat Management Plan (CHaMP) on behalf of the Environment Agency. Whilst a CHaMP focuses on habitats and how these may change over time, it is fundamental that a good understanding of the physical processes and morphology of the study area are gained to inform the assessments of habitat change. For this reason, the Severn Estuary CHaMP was taken forward in a phased manner that enabled present understanding to be reviewed and further assessment tools to be applied before attempting to predict future habitat changes.
We started with an extensive literature review to produce a conceptual understanding of the estuary processes and its morphological evolution as well as a comprehensive habitat inventory. The most appropriate geomorphological assessment tools for the latter phases of the work were also identified.
We then used various morphological assessment tools and analytical techniques to determine future morphological behaviour over timescales of 20, 50 and 100 years. This resulted in a habitat gain/loss account based on the understanding of the system generated under earlier phases project. The final deliverable of the project was in an interactive format and presented on a CD.