Romney Marsh has traditionally combined lush inland grazing with the wild and shifting habitats of the shingle shore. Warmer drier summers may prompt a shift from pasture to arable farming, making new crops viable in the inland areas. Climate change is increasingly likely to affect the landscape, including the wildlife habitats of the shingle banks, as well as the fish stocks off the coast.
More frequent summer droughts are also likely as the climate changes. The UK Climate Impacts Programme predicts that summer rainfall in this area could be at least 20-25% lower by the 2080s (50% probability). For more information on projected climate impacts, see the Climate Change pages.
All of these changes are likely to affect agriculture on Romney Marsh, and affect its unique landscape and wildlife habitats. Some of these habitats are protected as ‘Special Areas of Conservation’ (SACs) or ‘Special Protected Areas’ (SPAs) because of their international importance for wildlife, and particularly wild birds, within the EU. See Natural England’s website for more information. You can view current habitats and protected areas in Romney Marsh on the Tourism map.
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- How should Romney Marsh’s unique landscape and wildlife habitats be maintained or improved in a changing climate?
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