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A unique new Essex nature reserve opened by David Attenborough
Wednesday 24 July 2013 11:23
The 120 acre Thurrock Thameside nature park overlooks an enormous layer of rubbish that has accumulated for more than half a century. The park was once a derelict wasteland that was dominated by seagulls; now it is a restored wildlife area and an important source for renewable energy.
The site features a large visitor centre and various footpaths and cycling routes, and has become a popular destination for birdwatchers since it was designated as a nature reserve. The park is also expected to be extended to more than 800 acres in size and will become one of the main focal points of the area, commanding fabulous panoramic views over the estuary.
Rotting food – your new source of electricity?
The methane produced by the rotting food in the ground could generate electricity for up to 100,000 local homes in the next few decades. According to Peter Gerstrom, the chief executive officer of Cory Environmental, which manages the visitor centre, the waste deposited from London's sewers is now processed in an Energy from Waste plant before its energy is converted into electricity.
A 'new chapter' for the Thames Estuary
The scheme has been carried out by the Essex Wildlife Trust and is one of the organisation's largest projects, transforming a largely barren, unvisited wasteland into a flourishing wildlife and recreational attraction. Sir David Attenborough described the opening of the new wildlife haven as 'the beginning of a new chapter' for the Thames Estuary and encouraged other wildlife trusts to achieve similar 'positive change' to help protect and sustain the UK's natural environments.