A PROPOSED barrage across the Severn Estuary could be absolutely devastating to wildlife, MPs have heard.

The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, RSPB and Angling Trust have told MPs at the House of Commons they all supported tidal energy development in the Severn, but that the current proposal lacks detail and claims that it would not unacceptably damage wildlife and large areas of habitat are realistic.

As well as doubting claims about the environmental impact of the barrage, all four organisations told the House of Commons Energy & Climate Committee they support future alternative smaller projects in the Severn Estuary to test and develop new tidal energy technology which Britain could export globally.

Wildlife and Wetlands Trust’s chief executive, Martin Spray, called for more information about the scheme.

He said: "We have got to get a little more clever about how we address the environment. There is potential for energy generation but we have to come up with environmentally sustainable, acceptable and sensible solutions."

Angling Trust National campaigns co-ordinator, Martin Salter said a full-width barrage across the estuary would mean fish dying due to sudden changes in water pressure and salinity, and through turbine strikes.