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Viridor restores landfill site to grassland

Beddington Farmlands nature reserve
Beddington Farmlands, previously a landfill site, will support a range of wildlife and bird species
Beddington Farmlands landfill site in Sutton, South London, is being restored to a network of species-rich habitats by UK waste management company Viridor.

The site was used for landfill from 1998, after previously being used as a sewage works, but now the local authority partnership (Croydon, Kingston, Merton and Sutton) will divert its non-recyclable waste to the the £205-million Beddington Energy Recovery Facility, where it will be transformed into enough electricity to power around 55,000 homes.

In conjunction with the local authority, Viridor’s detailed Restoration Management Plan will develop a variety of habitats across the 161-hectare (400-acre) site, including wet grassland, meadowland and hedgeland. Bird conservation is at the forefront of this restoration, supporting wildlife species including lapwing, skylark, breeding wildfowl and duck populations.

Located in a highly populated part of South London, the site has received enthusiastic interest from members of the community. Viridor’s restoration team recently held open days to unveil seven new bird hides as an innovative way of communicating progress updates with stakeholders and locals.

Terry Murphy, Viridor’s Landfill Director, said: “We are committed to progressive restoration at the Beddington Farmlands, developing a diverse green space for the local community to enjoy in the coming decades. To help demonstrate the progress made to date, and the work planned in the coming months and years, Viridor has held open days and now published the Beddington Farmlands Restoration Roadmap. This summarises the circa 150 page technical Restoration Management Plan and Viridor’s planned timetable.”

On attending the open day, Councillor Barry Lewis, ward member for Wallington North commented: “This was a great opportunity to see the work taking place to revive the Farmlands as a natural wildlife habitat. We walked the cycleway route and it was really positive to see the progress that has been made; the wet grassland area is ready to be seeded, fences are built and hedgerows are starting to establish. There is still a lot of work to be done which you can see on the restoration roadmap. Come along, see for yourself - perhaps on the next open day, or by visiting the bird hides shortly accessible from Hackbridge.” 

The restoration developments will continue over the next few years, with plans for full public access in 2023, though upkeep and management will be ongoing.

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