RAYLEIGH and Wickford MP Mark Francois recently visited the project to turn Wallasea Island into one of the largest bird sanctuaries in Europe.

The multi million pound project involves moving more than four million tonnes of soil from the Crossrail tunnelling project in London and bringing it by sea to the River Crouch.

The soil is then unloaded and build into seawalls and walkways across Wallasea Island, which will eventually provide a wetland habitat for tens of thousands of birds.

The project, being funded by the RPSB, will open in stages as it progresses, with the first visitors arriving in late 2015 or early 2016.

Mr Francois said: “As a member of the RSPB myself, I was pleased to see this massive project in action.

“The sheer scale of it is really impressive and it is wonderful to think that such an exciting environmental programme, with major benefits for local birdlife, is being taken forward in my constituency.

“I think this will be a great asset to the area and indeed to Essex generally and I look forward to seeing this very exciting project come to fruition in the next few years.”