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Below are some facts we hope will be useful when writing your letters and social media posts.  Please also copy/tag your MP (find yours here) and Ward Councillors (find yours here) and ask for their support.

  • Crossness Nature Reserve is in Thamesmead East and Belvedere (London Borough of Bexley).

  • It offers one of the last remaining area of grazed marshland within the Greater London area.

  • The site is a Local Nature Reserve (LNR), a Metropolitan Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (MSINC) and Metropolitan Open Land (MOL) - reflecting its significant value for the whole of London. 

  • Crossness Nature Reserve was created in 1994 as mitigation for Thames Water building their sewage sludge incinerator.

  • Thames Water have a legal duty (under a Section 106 agreement) to manage and enhance the marshland until 2093.

  • Thames Water are the freehold owner of Crossness Nature Reserve. 

  • Cory want to take 6 acres (equivalent to 11.7%) of Crossness Nature Reserve land via compulsory acquisition.

  • Public and private money has been used to enhance the nature reserve, including the stable block which will be demolished by Cory.

  • The nature reserve supports incredibly rare and endangered species such as water vole and shrill carder bee.

  • Water voles actively use a ditch which will be built on.


This is not a win-win for the environment as Cory would have us believe (i.e. CO2 capture and an increase in the size of the nature reserve).  Cory want to take 11.7% of Crossness Nature Reserve, one of the last areas of grazing marsh in the Thames estuary, and build on it.  They admitted at their presentation on 13th September 2023 that this type of grazing marsh is irreplaceable, yet they want to build on it.

The land Cory are taking from Peabody (Norman Road Field) to 'increase' the nature reserve is not grazing marsh and no amount of 'enhancement' will mitigate the loss.  And Cory say the additional area will be protected - is that the same protection supposedly given to Crossness Nature Reserve?

Rare wildlife
Crossness Nature Reserve supports extremely rare and critically endangered wildlife such as water vole (Britain's fastest declining mammal) and shrill carder bee (the UK's rarest bumblebee).  It is also home to a pair of resident breeding barn owls, an overnight dunlin roost and the very rare frog rush plant, previously thought extinct in Kent.


Cory have already proved they have no consideration for wildlife - the Borax Field they own had nesting Skylark until last year.  Despite our protests it is now filled with construction rubble.

Volume of CO2 capture
Cory state their CCS proje
ct has the potential to capture circa 1.3 million tonnes of CO2 per year.  But marshland like Crossness Nature Reserve is also a store of CO2.  Have Cory calculated how much CO2 the area of nature reserve they want to build on already captures and stores every year?

UK Government support CCS
Yes, the Government may support carbon capture and storage (CCS) as a way for the UK to reach its net zero ambitions, but surely not at the expense of incredibly rare grazing marsh with Local Nature Reserve (LNR), Metropolitan Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (MSINC) and Metropolitan Open Land (MOL) status?  A wildlife habitat which even Cory admit is incredibly valuable and cannot be recreated.  One which supports nationally endangered animals and plants.  An area of natural beauty for local people to enjoy with all the associated health and wellbeing benefits.  Humans and wildlife alike cannot afford to lose any amount of Crossness Nature Reserve in this heavily industrialised part of Bexley.

Five years of construction
Cory believe it will take five years to build their Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) plant.  This is five years of construction traffic and machinery moving about land previously part of the Crossness Nature Reserve.  With all the associated noise, dust and light pollution affecting a far greater area of the marshland than just the part Cory want to take and build on.  How much nature will be scared away and injured during these five years?

25 year lifetime
The Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) facility may only have a 25 year lifetime.  That's less time than Thames Water have been managing and enhancing Crossness Nature Reserve!  So what happens when the CCS plant is decommissioned?  Will more of the nature reserve be taken by Cory's for their next project?

Cory state the new areas of nature reserve will be given protected status - what use is that protection when they can forcefully take part of an existing Local Nature Reserve?  Also, 
the 'new' area is already mitigation land for Tilfen Land’s (now Peabody) development on the Veridion Business Park.  And what about Cory’s own mitigation land to the east of Riverside 1, which looks as though it will now been built on?  There is no guarantee Cory will protect anything other than their own pockets.

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