Image© Frank Lumsden
In an effort to create a cleaner and greener future, last week the Essex Wildlife Trust officially opened the new Thurrock Thameside Nature Park – a 120 acre reserve built on top of a former landfill. Over the past half a century London has shipped piles of trash up the River Thames to the Mucking Marshes Landfill where it festered as a blemish reminding the world of how messy the human race can be. But after many years of rejuvenation, this new nature park has proven that we can make substantial efforts to reverse what past generations have trashed.
The Thurrock Thameside Nature Park opened with a fanfare that included members of the Essex Wildlife Trust and famed British naturalist Sir David Attenborough. Sir Attenborough, who was quoted in October by saying “we are a plague on the Earth”, could not have set a better example of his stance on climate change and conservation by being at this opening. Thurrock Thameside is a great example of natural restoration from which many areas of the world could take a lesson.
This 120 acre park will slowly expand to cover an additional 725 acres in the next coming years, and will continue to repair this area of England that has been plagued with human waste. The new reserve is home to grasslands, woods, and marshes that have begun to become home to many species of birds, mammals, insects, and fish. The reserve’s innovatively designed Cory Environmental Visitors Center, designed by van Heyningen and Haward Architects, offers stunning views of the Mucking Flats and the Thames Estuary. There are footpaths, bicylcle paths, and great spaces to birdwatch and ship watch!