The natural environment is continually changing – forecasts indicate that by 2080 sea levels may have risen by around 80cm.
This will have a serious impact on the local population and the conservation areas which are home to a variety of bird species that rely on the mudflats as a food source.
Estuary water levels will change reducing the area of mudflats at low tide with a small increase at high tide. This will be minimised by improved turbine technology especially the capacity to generate on both Ebb and Flood tides.
Positive environmental improvements could be created in consultation with local people. Improved turbine efficiency operating both on ebb and flood tides would also reduce the environmental impact.
Tidal gateways could, in the long run, help to protect both homes and the ecologically diverse mudflats.
It is possible that there may have to be a trade-off between the impact on wading birds, and the very positive impact on people up the Cumbrian West coast.
The impact on wading birds will be reduced to a minimum by new technology.