Seagrass Planting on the Tees Estuary and Surrounding Coastline

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Our incredible partner, Tees Rivers Trust has been hard at work planting seagrass in the Tees Estuary and surrounding coastline. This seagrass planting is part of the work being carried out to reintroduce and restore seagrass to the Tees Estuary. Various methods of planting have been used for this restoration.

Seagrass seeds and seedlings are being planted directly into the estuary and surrounding coastline. However, other seeds are being grown in the Seagrass Nursery and kept to produce seeds for future planting.

In April 2024, Tees Rivers Trust and their volunteers have planted seeds collected from Lindisfarne in Summer 2023, as well as some seeds from their own plants that have been kept dormant until now. Some seeds and seedlings were planted directly into the estuary. More seeds were planted into prepared sediment trays and a pipette was used to plant seeds into holes in the sediment. These were then covered and the trays placed into the nurseries and fed by water direct from the estuary.

Three different planting methods were used to plant the seagrass seeds and seedlings into the estuary and surrounding coastline:

  • Wrapping seeds and sand in hessian packages to protect them and burying these.
  • Mixing seeds with sand and injecting them directly deeper into the seabed using a caulking gun.
  • Separating already growing seagrass plants individually to transplant them into the sediment.

Additionally, GPS measurements were taken within three different quadrats set up for each planting method. These can be monitored at low tides in future. Their growth and any benefits they might offer for coastal communities will be regularly monitored.

Stronger Shores funding from the Environment Agency’s Flood and Coastal Innovation Programme part funds and helps support the seagrass restoration being carried out by Tees Rivers Trust.

Incredible work from Tees Rivers Trust – we hope to see some baby seagrass in the near future!

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