Work is now underway at the 120Ha Beddington Farmlands, to create a new wet grassland habitat as part of the ongoing restoration management programme for the landfill site. Earlier in the year infrastructure to support this habitat was installed and now excavation work is taking place to dig down to the water table before shaping islands and inlets.
The Beddington site has a rich history of serving the community with Roman, Victorian and modern sewerage treatment operations located at the site along with the current landfill operations serving the households of the South London Waste Partnership. Once the necessary landfilling is complete the Restoration Management Plan can be delivered.
The wet grassland will dominate the northern third of the Beddington site. It is anticipated that this will provide critical nesting habitat for species such as Lapwing and Redshank (target species for the Beddington Farmlands). The area will present an undulating landform providing a variety of key habitats. Vegetation will be varied with scattered tussocks of grass and rush. Areas of swamp habitats will be allowed to develop in some ditches to provide cover for species such as Water Rail.
Ian Morrish, Viridor’s Director of Landfill Energy, said: “Viridor is committed to developing the Beddington Farmlands to become one of the most important nature conservation areas in Greater London. This work forms part of the 14.5Ha area of wet grassland habitat that will be created at Beddington to attract key species of wildlife. We recognise that members of the community are eager to access the site, and we are working to establish the designated habitats so that we are in a position to open the site up.”
Cllr Nighat Piracha, Chair of the Beddington Conservation and Access Management Committee (CAMC), added: “We are delighted to see the start of the wet grassland habitat work. The Beddington Farmlands restoration is a complex project with a mosaic of different habitats being created. We know that the changing nature of the sewerage treatment facility nearby means that these wet grassland areas will provide vital habitats for species of bird and other wildlife. The CAMC look forward to seeing Viridor’s plans over the next 12 months for the establishment of this and other habitats on the Beddington Farmlands.”