North Portsea Island Phase 4b Update - Week 16

Greening the Grey

At a recent meeting of engineers from the North Portsea Island Coastal Defence Scheme, the term 'greening the grey' came up several times. And it got us thinking that, while this is a commonly used term in the world of flood defences, a lot of people outside our Scheme may be unfamiliar with it.

Put simply, 'greening the grey' refers to the philosophy and practice of environmentally enhancing engineered structures (such as flood defences, concrete walls or sheet piles) to allow them to be colonised by flora and fauna.

A perfect example of this is our ecoformliner - a textured sea wall that will provide a habitat for marine plant and animal species found in Langstone Harbour on North Portsea Island. The design provides shelter and shade while retaining moisture, thus making a suitable habitat for marine flora and fauna to flourish.

There are several reasons why our ecoformliner has generated plenty of interest both in the media and in the community. Firstly, it looks super-cool! It's also a bespoke product that has been specially designed for the Scheme by our very own team, in conjunction with the Universities of Glasgow and Bournemouth. And, perhaps most impressive of all, it will be the first ever large-scale application of such a product in the UK.

In exciting news, the location of the ecoformliner means that you will be eventually able to go and see it when the tide goes out. It will take several years, but we hope the wall will end up being covered in seaweeds with all sorts of different marine creatures hiding under them. We can't wait to see it happen!