Millions of tonnes of earth from the Crossrail project has been used to create a nature habitat on the Wallasea Island, Essex stretch of the link

London’s new Elizabeth line will allow commuters to start taking high-speed trains under the city this week, on part of a 73-mile route that stretches from Reading in the west to Shenfield in the east. They will not be the first travellers to enjoy the benefits of the new line, however.

On Wallasea Island in Essex, thousands of birds have already taken advantage of the £19bn rail project – on a mosaic of lagoons, islands, and bays that have been created out of 3.5m tonnes of earth that were dug up during construction of its new stations and 13 miles of twin tunnels.

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