August 2014 E-news

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Partnership News

Highlights from this month’s work

This month SEP met with stakeholders, including Devon and Severn IFCA, at various locations along the Severn to view the Severn Bore and catch up on recent Severn work. We also met with the Sustainable Eel Group and learnt about the conservation work that they carry out and got to meet some of the eels! Understanding the work that other groups do around the Estuary is important to SEP, helping us to work with as many users of the Estuary as possible.

With the Forum fast approaching, SEP has been busy organising and making final preparations ahead of the big day. The programme has been finalised and promotional material is being produced - including some new SEP branded pens! 

This  year's edition of our Severn Tidings Newsletter has gone to print and is set to be our biggest edition yet. Thank you kindly to all those who have contributed articles. Keep an eye out for Severn Tidings which will be ready soon! If you would be interested in contributing towards future editions, please
contact us. 
The Severn Estuary Forum is NEXT MONTH!
The 2014 Severn Estuary Forum will be held at Cardiff University on Tuesday 16th September and promises a fascinating day of informative and engaging presentations within four topic areas: Climate Change, Energy Generation, Estuary Planning and Local Issues. For a full line up of presentations and speakers please see the programme.

Display space at the venue is selling quickly but we still have a few spaces left. These areas can be provided for any organisation or group wishing to promote their activities. Please contact the Partnership to book your space.

The Forum is sponsored by Associated British Ports (ABP), MarineSpace, British Marine Aggregate Producers Association (BMAPA) and Cardiff University.

The event is supported by CIWEM (The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management) and will be a Continuing Professional Development event for members of this professional body.
Our estuary: challenges and opportunities
Help us help the Estuary
The Severn Estuary is dynamic and diverse with huge value to the economy, environment and society. The Severn Estuary Partnership promotes a holistic estuary-wide perspective for the Severn and encourages everyone to work together to view the estuary as a whole to respond in partnership to future risks and opportunities.
If you want to keep your finger on the pulse of Severn Estuary activities and have access to a broad range of statutory, non-statutory, industrial and recreational user groups, join the Severn Estuary Partnership! Membership of SEP will improve your ability to make contact with people who share your interests and meet others with useful information. Over 15 years of knowledge and Estuary wide contacts will be at your fingertips. Specific benefits of our membership and associated cost can be found here.

Estuary News

The Severn Estuary Partnership is neutral and unbiased. The below stories are collated to make you aware of what is topical and making the news regarding the Severn Estuary. They do not necessarily represent the views of the Partnership.
UK – New tool to assess noise impact on marine mammals  
A new desktop tool which will allow offshore renewable energy developers to assess the likely impacts of their projects on marine mammal populations has been developed by scientists at the University of St Andrews and SMRU Marine, a university spin-out company.

The tool – known as the Interim PCOD (Population Consequences of Disturbance) Model – will allow developers, scientists and regulatory authorities to predict more accurately than ever before how offshore developments will affect five key species of mammals found in the UK - bottlenose dolphins, harbour porpoise, minke whale, harbour and grey seals. Read more...

'World can learn' from Wales' coastal path, experts say

Other countries can learn from the way Wales has created the first footpath to follow a country's coastline, says the Royal Geographical Society (RGS). It says a "number of international lessons have been learnt" from creating the path from River Dee in Flintshire to Chepstow in Monmouthshire.

The RGS said the path, opened in May 2012, has brought "transformational change" for those that live along it.The coastal path stretches 870 miles (1,400km) around Wales' coast. Read more...

Tall ships arrive in Gloucester Docks ahead of Hollywood movie filming
The first of five tall ships due to feature in a Hollywood movie has arrived at Gloucester Dock.

The docks were dredged last month to allow the ships access ahead of filming the movie, believed to be Through the Looking Glass, on 18 August.

The Disney movie is understood to be a sequel to Alice in Wonderland, starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. Read more...

River dredging on the Parrett and Tone '60% complete'
About 60% of the work to dredge the rivers Parrett and Tone on the Somerset Levels has been completed, the Environment Agency has said.

Earlier this year there was criticism from people living in the area who were concerned work was moving too slowly. Craig Woolhouse, from the agency, said it had made good progress since the work started in March. He said its intention was to return the rivers to the state they were in during the 1960s. Read more...

Much of the silt is being used

Dead River Severn bottlenose dolphin tests to be conducted

Scientists are to take blubber and skin samples from the body of a bottlenose dolphin found dead in the River Severn near Gloucester. The creature was originally spotted last month and conservationists had hoped it would swim back out to sea. Its body was spotted at the weekend and the carcass is being recovered before tests are carried out later. A team from the Severn Area Rescue Association located the body near Elmore. Read more...
Coastal defences could contribute to flooding with sea-level rise

A combination of coastal defences and rising sea levels could change typical UK tidal ranges, potentially leading to a higher risk of flooding, say scientists.
The researchers wanted to find out how tides around the UK might respond to changes in sea level over the next century depending on the level of coastal defences in place.
The study, published in Continental Shelf Research, shows for the first time that local coastal defences, such as sea walls, could cause tides to change dramatically. It suggests flood defences need to be reassessed on an international scale as they may lead to an increased risk of flooding. Read more...
Severn Estuary Marine Licence applications
Details of Marine Licence applications under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 received and determined by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and Natural Resources Wales (NRW) can be found on the MMO website for projects in English waters and the NRW website for projects in welsh waters. Applications received/determined recently include:
  • NNG Genco - Disposal - Issued
  • RNLI - Burnham-on-Sea - Emergency Launch and Recovery Works - Completed
  • Hinkley Point A - Dredging and Disposal - Completed
Information on projects submitted to the Planning Inspectorate can be found on their website. Projects within the Severn Estuary currently include:
  • Oldbury New Nuclear Power Station by Horizon Nuclear Power. A Nuclear Power Station using Pressurised Water Reactor (PWR) technology. Comprising of up to three nuclear reactors with a combined expected output of about 3300 MW.
  • Avon Power Station 950 MW output by Scottish Power Gas Fired Power Station 950 MW output
  • Hinkley Point C Connection by National Grid National Grid Overhead Lines connector
  • Seabank 3 CCGT by SSE plc - Two CCGT (combined cycle gas turbine) units and supporting associated infrastructure.
Policy Updates and Newsletters

Upcoming Events

September 2014
  • Severn Estuary Forum - Tuesday 16th September, Julian Hodge Building, Cardiff University. This event is an exciting platform for all interested in the future of the Severn Estuary to come together and share ideas for best practice on the estuary, so book now! Not only will the day include presentations from guest speakers and a number of displays, but there will also be opportunities for you to participate in formal and informal discussions on important estuary topics.
  • Severn Bore – the following website provides spectators and surfers with everything they need to know about the Severn Bore including times, dates, star rating and viewing locations.
Call for Articles
If you have any information or news that you think should be included in our next E-News then please get in touch: We are always on the lookout for information for our monthly E-News as well as being able to publicise it through our Twitter and Facebook accounts. We’d be particularly keen to hear about news in your area including:
  • Development proposals and planning updates,
  • Local Community projects,
  • Upcoming community events,
  • Opportunities to volunteer around the Estuary.
Welsh National Marine Plan
Welsh Government are now asking for your views specifically on the Draft Vision and Objectives for the Welsh National Marine Plan as well as the proposed structure for the Plan. Consultation is open until the 10th November 2014. Read more...

Marine strategy part two: UK marine monitoring programmes
The overarching aim of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) is for Member States to put in place measures to achieve Good Environmental Status (GES) in their marine waters by 2020. Read more...

Amending the Environmental Damage (Prevention and Remediation) Regulations 2009 to transpose Article 38 of the Offshore Safety Directive
The Welsh Government wants your views on the eight week consultation about amending domestic legislation to take account of changes introduced by the Offshore Safety Directive (2013/30/EU), which have extended its scope into marine waters.This consultation forms part of the wider transposition of the safety of offshore oil and gas operations, which aims to reduce the potential for major accidents relating to offshore oil and gas activities and limit their impacts on the environment and coastal economies and improvement of safety for offshore workers. Read more...

Flood insurance: regulations for the Flood Reinsurance Scheme 
The UK Government announced in June 2013 that it was taking forward the Flood Reinsurance Scheme (Flood Re) as the preferred approach to addressing the availability and affordability of flood insurance.

The Flood Re Scheme will ensure that domestic property insurance continues to be widely available and affordable in areas of flood risk without placing unsustainable costs on wider policyholders or the taxpayer. Flood Re will provide transitional support to households at flood risk over a 25 year period as part of a gradual transition towards more risk-reflective prices; this will provide time for choices to be made and risk management action to be taken. Further information on Flood Re is provided in the Short Guide to Flood Re in an Annex of the Consultation Document.

This consultation is being conducted by the UK Government. Financial services including insurance are reserved matters and the territorial extent of this consultation covers the UK insurance market and is therefore UK-wide in scope. Read more… 

Forest of Dean Allocations Plan
The Allocations Plan will show how the proposals in the Core Strategy will be implemented. Together with the Core Strategy and the Cinderford Northern Quarter Area Action Plan (CNQAAP) it will form the new Local Plan for the Forest of Dean.

The primary role of the Allocations Plan is to provide the detail of how and where policies in the Core Strategy will be implemented. It will contain allocations for development but also protective designations and will also include revised defined settlement boundaries. Read more…

South Gloucestershire Statement of Community Involvement
​The Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) explains how everyone can be involved in the preparation of new planning policy documents and in consultation on planning applications. The council adopted its first SCI (in May 2008). Since this time a number of changes have been made to the legislative framework within which the SCI operates and also to internal procedures within the council. These changes have made it necessary for us to refresh and update its SCI. Read more….
Severn Estuary Partnership consultations webpage
There are always new consultations regularly taking place around the Severn Estuary. We have developed a section on our website that will keep you abreast of the latest consultation developments. To find out more, go to our new Consultations Page. If you know of any relevant consultation that is not highlighted through our consultation page please email us.
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