Brownfields sites under threat

Brownfield sites can provide crucial habitats for wildlife populations, including many rare and protected bugs.

Buglife is continually campaigning on behalf of valuable sites threatened with development, to ensure that the best wildlife sites are protected.

The Thames Gateway – ‘England’s rainforest’ in the firing line

The Thames Gateway is a key area for Buglife’s work, as it includes large expanses of brownfield land coupled with nationally important populations of species such as the Brown-banded carder bee.

However, the area has been identified as Europe’s largest regeneration area and will be subject to major house-building over the next 10-20 years. Brownfield sites are under severe threat from this development and their wildlife is in the firing line. Although the Government has acknowledged the environmental importance of the Thames Gateway, many key sites continue to be lost.

Canvey Wick © Claudia Watts

West Thurrock Marshes

West Thurrock Marshes, in South Essex is, quite simply, one of the UK’s best sites for rare bugs and other wildlife.

In 2006 a damaging planning application was approved for warehousing and a lorry park on the site. Buglife sprang into action with a high profile campaign lasting two years, until unfortunately we lost the case in the Court of Appeal.

Although part of the West Thurrock Marshes has gone to development, the majority of this wonderful brownfield site is now safe and its long term management secured – a great outcome for bugs!  This is thanks to a partnership between the new land owners The Land Trust, developer Goodman, Natural England.

West Thurrock Marshes © Greg Hitchcock

Help us to stop the extinction of invertebrate species

Become a member

From £36 per year, membership directly supports our vital conservation work. In return you receive member benefits and our bi-annual Buzz magazine.


Donate to support us

Our work would not be possible without your support. Bees and other invertebrates need help to reverse the catastrophic declines in their numbers. Please donate today and together we can restore vital habitats and rebuild strong populations of invertebrates in the UK.

Make a donation today

Engage with our work

Follow us on the social networks, or sign up to receive our email newsletter so we can you keep you up-to-date with our work