The Swanscombe Peninsula in North Kent is home to a remarkable mosaic of grasslands, coastal habitats, brownfield features, scrub and intricate wetlands. However, the proposed London Resort theme park threatens the future of this urban wilderness.
Known as Swanscombe Marshes, this urban wilderness is home to thousands of invertebrate species, including over 250 species of conservation concern. This outstanding assemblage is of national importance, ranking with our best invertebrate brownfield sites. It is one of just two places in the UK for the Critically Endangered Distinguished jumping spider (Attulus distinguendus), among the host of rare bees, beetles, moths and other invertebrates recorded there.
Distinguished jumping spider (c) Peter Harvey
The Swanscombe Peninsula has a complicated history, with the coastal grazing marsh and grassland habitats subject to landfill and the dumping of cement waste. It also plays host to water treatment works, the HS1 railway and jetties- it even has the UK’s tallest electricity pylon! But despite this, the mixture of natural coastal features and human interference has created a brownfield of the highest quality for wildlife, as well as a valued community space for walking, bird watching, angling and escaping the hustle and bustle of North Kent.
But all of this is now threatened by the proposed London Resort theme park. Hyped as the ‘UK’s Disneyland’, much of the unique habitat of Swanscombe Marshes would be destroyed and concreted. At a time when the value of wildlife and open spaces is being appreciated more than ever and amid ongoing declines in some of our best loved wildlife, we can’t let such a precious site be lost.
Buglife Planning Lead, Jamie Robins says “Brownfields like Swanscombe Marshes are some of the most important places in the country for invertebrates. Our No Insectinction manifesto calls for ‘safe spaces’ for invertebrates– let’s start by stopping this development and designating this bug haven as a Site of Special Scientific Interest!”
Sea aster mining bee (c) Steven Falk
The Secretary of State has accepted the London Resort application for Examination as a National Infrastructure Planning case and a time table will soon be released.
The London Resort Theme Park would be No Fun for Nature. Buglife wants to protect this wildlife haven from an unnecessary and ill-thought development, saving it for future generations to enjoy.
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