Friday JohnKu – AKA – TGIF – Fri-Yay/Good News.

Today’s Good News comes from the Good News Network. Here is the story in its entirety.

Millions of Tons of Earth Dug for New London Subway Line Became a New Bird Sanctuary

Ben Hall/RSPB Images

Multi-billion dollar civic engineering projects tend not to be good news for wildlife, but upon the completion of a new English underground railway line, the upturned earth was used to rebuild a coastal habitat for birds in Essex.

The new bird sanctuary instantly became one of the richest in Britain’s coastline for avocets, spoonbills, black-tailed godwits, and other wading birds.

The Elizabeth Crossrail is a high-speed line that runs from Reading to the west of London, through the capital, to Shenfield near the east coast. During the $24 million (£19 million) project, seven million metric tons of soil was dug up to make thirteen underground railway tunnels, half of which were transported by boat to the eastern shore of the country.

The earth was taken to a place called Wallasea Island, once just a tiny peninsula of the wild Essex coastline, consisting of salt marshes, coastal lagoons, muddy flatlands, and other features, but several times during the Medieval period and after it was drained to make sheep pasture or farmland.

Farming often is not as profitable now as it was then, and as the defensive seawall was in need of repairs, the farmer that used to own the land sold it to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

“Massive amounts of soil were dug up from below the streets of London during tunneling needed to create the Elizabeth line,” said Rachel Fancy, site manager of RSPB Wallasea Island. “That material was given to the RSPB, allowing us to create our Jubilee Marsh, the cornerstone of our new reserve.”

Jubilee is the appropriate name in this case. Bird-friendly journalists from the Guardian, reporting on the state of Wallasea Island, now note the diversity of species and the rich numbers.

Hen and marsh harriers have appeared in winter while wigeon, teal, plover, yellow wagtail, lapwings, blackbirds, oystercatchers, and skylarks were all recorded in what reporters called a “nature lover’s paradise.”

It took 1,500 trips by canal to bring the dirt to Wallasea. Once there it was transported via conveyor belt to a dump, where tipper trucks slowly deposited it along the shoreline to create a steady sloping terrain up from the sea, protecting it from rising levels.

After the manicuring and landscaping was finished, the seawall was strategically breached in three separate places at low tide, which, once it rose again, gently partitioned the landscape into the various landscape features seen today, as opposed to turning it into a big muddy lake if the wall had been breached all at once at high tide.

In its first year, Wallasea Nature Reserve hosted 150 breeding pairs of avocets, which is endangered-in-Britain, instantly making it one of the bird’s strongholds.

“We are really proud that Jubilee Marsh is helping to combat the threats from climate change and coastal flooding,” Mark Wild, Crossrail’s chief executive, told the Guardian.

The good news here is that with proper planning human expansion need not come at the expense of the earth. Today’s JohnKu talks about stewardship. I hope you all have a super weekend.

Our Earth by John W. Howell © 2022

This is all we have,

Humans need to work smarter . . .

To preserve our life.

65 comments

  1. What a great story, John. A little extra money spent for some very good reasons. Great poem.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think it shows development with sense is possible. Thanks, Dan.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a great story. Thanks for sharing, John!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Jill.

      Like

  3. What a terrific way to create a win/win! Thank you for sharing, John.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for letting me know you liked it, Annette.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a wonderful story! Thank you for bringing us some good news today, John.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It always feels good to find these stories. Thanks, Joan

      Liked by 1 person

  5. That’s quite a lot of work, but so worth it. Even the name is lovely. Thanks for my Friday smile.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Always glad to deliver a smile. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for sharing this wonderful story, John. It’s wonderful when projects are thought out thoroughly!
    Happy Friday to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is wonderful, Dale. Happy Friday to you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, kind sir

        Liked by 1 person

  7. They have every right to be proud! This is a remarkable feat!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is. I can’t imagine the work involved.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. The same thing is happening here, where spoil from the dredging and widening of the Houston ship channel is being used to create wildlife-friendly ‘islands’ in the bay. Creativity is possible!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is so good to see too. Thanks, Linda.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. It’s wonderful how a bit of extra attention can accomplish so much more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. So well thought out.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. That’s a smart repurposing. Should happen more often.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It should. One would hope it will. Thanks, Charles.

      Like

  11. That is good news. It’s refreshing to see humans doing something that makes sense. Your poem says it all. Thanks for sharing, John. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is refreshing since it so seldom happens. Thanks, Tim.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Reblogged this on T. W. Dittmer and commented:
    This story from author John Howell’s blog is such good news to me that I wanted to share it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing the post, Tim.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Gwen M. Plano · · Reply

    Fri-yays are always the highlight of the week. Thank you for the reminder of what is possible if we work together. Beautiful, John. 💗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Gwen. I think if folks think things out miracles can happen. 😁

      Like

  14. Wow, this project is so heartening! There just might be hope for us, after all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s what I was thinking, Liz.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I can’t imagine how much dirt that is, but look at all the good it did.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know right? I can’t imagine moving it all.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. John, thanks for sharing this terrific story. It’s good to give back to mother earth.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. This is a great story. Restores my faith in what I usually consider dumb a—s who do construction without a thought for the environment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m with you, Noelle. Loved your description.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. A wonderful story. Thanks so much for sharing. Your Haiku is perfect too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Darlene

      Liked by 1 person

  19. This is one instance where progress has a happy ending. Thanks for sharing, John!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thant is for sure. Thanks Jan

      Like

  20. Awesome story, John, and proof that solutions can be found that don’t inconvenience one species for another! Thanks for sharing this good news!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is the lesson of this story for sure. Thanks, Debbie

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Wonderful news indeed, dear John. Let’s hope there will be more of them around. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is a great hope, Maria.

      Like

  22. What a jubilee it is, when we worth WITH the earth instead of against it.

    Another classic, Boss.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Marc

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Thanks for the wonderful story and good news, John, along with your wonderful Ku. You’re right about humans.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. Lauren

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, John. Enjoy your weekend.

        Like

      2. Enjoy yours as well, Lauren

        Liked by 1 person

  24. A case of “if you build it, they will come.” . I love the symbiosis of these projects. Good for everyone. Great story, John.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true, Diana

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Wonderful! I love to hear about things like this, John. Thanks so much for sharing this. A lovely positive note to end the week. Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes it is Teagan. Thank you for the visit and comment. 😁

      Like

  26. You sure this happened in England? We did some adulting? Well who knew? Someone got the money wrong, mind as it cost billions not millions but I’m pro the line so all round Yay!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I wondered about that but since I lifted the article I decided to leave the money part alone. Yes that was you guys doing a good thing. Maes us Yanks almost sorry we threw you out. (Almost)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’ve done okay since you walked out in a huff…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. No you guys walked out in a huff. We are still here. Just shows to go ya perspective is everything.

        Like

  27. This is a very happy outcome for the birds and humans who can now enjoy nature and transportation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true, Deborah. Thank you

      Liked by 1 person

  28. This is good news!We need more of this sharing and refurbishing with and of mother nature.
    Another wise, wise, wise, JohnKu.
    Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Resa. You are right we need to do more.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. We can work smarter, this proves it. All we need is the will. It was wonderful to see that some have.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. Good to see

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Talk about a win-win! That’s wonderful. Thanks for sharing that, John. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

Put your favorite fiction or non-fiction in writing. I would love to hear from you

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: