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Thames Water created Crossness Nature Reserve (CNR) in 1994 under a planning condition (Section 106 agreement).  They are the freehold owner absolute of the 25 hectare (approximately 62 acres) site.
​The Section 106 places a legal obligation on Thames Water to manage and enhance this wetland site for a period of 99 years, as compensation for the construction of their sewage sludge incinerator.
Thames Water's management plan includes a full time Reserve Manager who takes a fully hands-on approach and who has overseen fabulous enhancements such as the creation of a shingle island and excavation of a wader scrape, as well as regular habitat maintenance.  There are regular community events and facilities for members of Friends of Crossness Nature Reserve such as a double level bird hide and regular newsletters.

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Water Vole - Britain's fastest declining mammal

Crossness Nature Reserve is part of the Erith Marshes Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation.  Even Cory admitted at their presentation on 13 September 2023 that it is an incredibly rare habitat and cannot be replaced!  We know!  So Cory, why propose these plans on this site?

The area of marsh that once existed from Woolwich to Erith have been built upon and there is now very little marshland left in Bexley or overall in the South East.  We cannot allow what is left to be destroyed and continually fragmented.

Cory propose to build on the Stable Paddock and East Paddock (2.5 hectares/just over 6 acres) plus install huge elevated pipework around the whole southern and western boundary of their REP 1 and 2 waste incinerators.  Although the pipework is on stilts it will still have a detrimental impact on the marshland below it.  In total this means Cory plan to take 11.7% of Crossness Nature Reserve.


The planned land grab is adjacent to the West Paddock which means the proposals will threaten:

  • waterways where water voles live (Britain’s fastest declining mammal)

  • the very rare Frog Rush plant (thought extinct in Kent/London until recently discovered here by botanist Rodney Marsh)

  • fields where lapwing breed

  • habitat which supports Shrill Carder Bee - Britain’s rarest bee

  • an overnight winter Dunlin roost

  • an area where passage migrant birds Wheatear, Stonechat and Whinchat are frequently seen

Between 2005 and 2011 the Belvedere Green Links project saw £1,000,000 (one million pounds) spent on restoring Erith southern marsh and Crossness Nature Reserve, including the stable block.  This was funded by the Homes & Communities Agency (HCA), the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Greater London Authority (GLA).  Bexley Borough Council were key stakeholders.

Cory's new development would demolish the stables.  Not only are the horses very popular with visitors, they are crucial grazers for marsh habitat.

Of course Crossness Nature Reserve is not just fabulous for nature and humans, it already naturally stores carbon and prov
ides a flood defence for Belvedere.  It therefore makes no sense to us for Cory to concrete over 11.7% of this precious, irreplaceable land in order to capture their CO2.



Trigger leaning over Lagoon Field_edited
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