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