Essex Wildlife Trust

15 years ago, Essex Wildlife Trust had taken on the huge project of restoring one of the largest landfill sites in Western Europe. Their aim at the Thurrock Thameside Nature Park was to restore and recreate a range of important habitats on the Thames Estuary.

The former landfill reconnects the local communities via footpaths, bridleways and cycleways providing the locals with a chance to experience an abundance of wildlife. The Trust has built beautiful nature walks in what was once a dumping ground

The Benefits Of This Project

By 2016, The Trust has planned to expand this nature park to 647 hectares. 2 reserves are located within the park – Stanford Warren Nature Reserve and Linford Wood.

Stanford Warren Nature Reserve is 41 acres large and consists of one of the largest reedbeds in Essex.

Why Are Reedbeds Important?

One of the most important habitats for birds in the UK, Reedbeds support breeding birds. These habitats are also visited by migratory birds, see many of the UKs mammals feast on the insects and are a roosting haven for several raptor species.

A small population of several key species depend on this habitat and we depend on it for filtering sewage from water.

How Many Species Depend On The Success Of This Habitat?

Reedbeds help a number of species that depend on this dwindling habitat.

  • Bearded tit
  • Cetti’s warbler
  • Brent geese
  • Curlew
  • Wigeon
  • Ringed plover
  • Grey plover
  • Dunlin
  • Black-tailed godwit and redshank
  • Great crested newt
  • And many invertebrates

How Do The Locals Benefit?

The 40 volunteers who devoted their time, effort and passion to this project have brought about tremendous improvements within the local community.

Not only is there a properly foot and bike access, not only is it a nature walk through a natural haven but the park is now providing skills training and environmental education. Younger generations will take more away from these programmes as they learn the consequences of respecting their environment.

These programs build character and a stronger, close-knit community who are all in it together.

The Benefits Of A Nature Park Overall

The true value of protecting our ecosystems has only come to light recently. Just as we begin to appreciate just how important havens like these are, they are being out favoured by housing, business and, in some cases, tourism.

Just 6% of the Earth’s land surface is protected areas. Conservation helps keep the ecosystem balanced that in turn helps us as a healthy ecosystem protects our water supplies and regulates the effects of flooding and erosion.

Also obesity is becoming a real problem in Britain and so a nature park gives us the chance to engage in outdoor recreation.