We are creating two new nature areas to compensate for the land affected by construction of DP World London Gateway.
When we created DP World London Gateway, we needed to remove some areas of intertidal mudflat to create the berths. These areas had been feeding grounds for a number of important bird species, so we had to find a way of offering them an equally suitable alternative.
We began looking across the area and located some agricultural land which had the potential to be transformed into intertidal mudflats.
In 2010, the first 41-acre wildlife area was created on the northern bank of the River Thames. A new sea wall was built and a breach in the old sea wall was created, allowing the area to flood and become an intertidal habitat. It is now called Stanford Wharf Nature Reserve, and is managed by a local wildlife charity, in conjunction with DP World London Gateway. The reserve is overlooked by the Thurrock Thameside Nature Park visitor centre, which DP World London Gateway also helped to fund.
A second area of intertidal mudflats – known as Site X – is currently being created on the southern side of the river. Once complete, this will add another 57 hectares of new ecological habitat. These two sites will provide excellent habitat and a future haven for an important range of European bird species, more than compensating for the habitat lost due to the construction of the UK’s newest deep sea port.
Stanford Wharf Nature Reserve is thriving. The site is popular with both wildlife and local residents. It’s used by over 55 different species of birds, and home to other important European wildlife such as great crested newts and adders. The nature reserve and the visitor centre are used extensively by the local community – it acts as a base for wildlife enthusiasts and a great location for educational school visits.