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Leading civil and Environmental engineering company, Land & Water, has gained consent for developing a Habitat Creation Scheme on the River Thames at Rainham Marshes, the largest habitat creation project ever constructed inside the M25. The project will involve creating a significant area of new wetland habitat from re-engineered spoils, coupled with a strategic investment in riverside infrastructure to support significant projects along the Thames Corridor for decades to come.

The scheme will see the importation of over six million tonnes of wet and dry spoil material which will form both the basis of a new landform and cover the site to collect rainwater to fuel the wetlands passively. The site sits between Veolia’s landfill site at Rainham and the RSPB’s Rainham reserve. With the new area creating 1,000,000m2 of habitat, more than 5km2 of continuous habitats will be formed, providing East London with an oasis of wildlife owned and managed by the RSPB. This is Land & Water’s most ambitious project to date.

James Maclean, Chief Executive at Land & Water and mastermind of the scheme comments:

“Our involvement at Rainham can be cast back more than five years, to a time when we undertook an options appraisal on behalf of the Port of London Authority. We analysed ways in which the former dredging disposal lagoons alongside the A13 at Rainham Marshes, could be reinvigorated to support infrastructure projects along the Thames."

He continues: “In listening to the needs and desires of the stakeholders, we designed and developed a much bolder plan to turn our lagoons into the largest habitat creation project ever constructed inside the M25. We plan to deliver the project using dredged spoils and arisings from relevant construction projects to create varied habitats and engineer a considerable rainwater harvesting plan to feed sustainable wetlands to support the rare bird species in perpetuity.”

Tanya Ferry, Environment Manager at the Port of London Authority (PLA), comments:

"We are pleased to be partnering with Land and Water to reactivate the silt lagoons at Rainham. The site will be filled with material dredged from the Thames and restored to create valuable new habitat appropriate for sustaining its status as a Site of Special Scientific Interest for wetland birds and wildlife.

By increasing use of barges for freight transport, and creating new habitat, the development contributes directly towards delivering the Thames Vision, our plan to maximise the social, environmental and economic well-being of the river over the next 30 years.

Andrew Gouldstone, RSPB Site Manager at Rainham Marshes nature reserve, added:

“This is hugely welcome news, enabling us to achieve our ambitions for the silt lagoons. The dredgings will enable the lagoons to be improved, creating new places for wildlife - pools linked by ditches for wading birds and wetland species, and drier grassy areas for important insects such as bumblebees. We’re confident that our partnership with Land and Water and the Port of London Authority will provide an environment for generations of visitors to enjoy.”

Rainham Silt Lagoons is on the north bank of the River Thames at Coldharbour Lane, Rainham. RM13 9YQ. Contact Land & Water on: 0844 2251958

Or directly to the Site Manager on: 07967 461 025.

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