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Salticus scenicus
find out more... Salticus scenicus 3 Copyright: Graham Ekins

Essex Field Club
Essex Field Club
registered charity
no 1113963
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We are open today

We are normally open to the public at our centre at Wat Tyler Country Park every Saturday, Sunday and bank holiday 11am-4pm. We are also open on Wednesdays 10am-4pm.
Early Summer recording Record Red-and-Black Froghopper Record Lavender Beetle
Record Stag Beetle
Record Misumena crab spider
Record Lily Beetle
Record Swollen-thighed Beetle Record Zebra Spider

Littlebrook Lakes

Although Littlebrook Lakes is in north Kent, just across the River Thames from Essex by the Dartford Crossing, it exemplifies the fate of important nature conservation sites in the Thames Gateway and beyond.

Drought stressed grassland at Littlebrook LakesLittlebrook Lakes-drought stressed grassland Copyright: Peter Harvey
© Peter Harvey

The site had a range of features of nature conservation importance, including flower rich areas of grassland, drought-stressed grasslands and lichen heath, as well as scrub, seasonally wet areas and permanent wetland habitats. Even limited survey work had identified its importance for invertebrates, including nationally rare species and taxa included in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.




Wetland at Littlebrook Lakes
Littlebrook Lakes-reedbed Copyright: Peter Harvey
© Peter Harvey
Despite the results of two provisional invertebrate surveys undertaken in 2000 and 2001, a press release in August 2005 announced a Development Agreement between Dartford Borough Council and Prologis Developments Ltd for “One of the country’s most innovative developments, The Bridge”, and the whole area of nature conservation importance was bulldozed in November 2005.

The Bridge is stated to set a precedent for new developments across the country, combining a mixture of outstanding design with the latest technology in homes and offices. The project is stated to be the first, new and fully sustainable mixed-use venture to be delivered to the Thames Gateway (!!) The Leader of Dartford Borough Council is quoted as saying that The Bridge will put Dartford at the forefront of cutting edge design.

The mature trees across the site are apparently being protected during the development process and they will be “sympathetically integrated into the landscape of the new site”, indicating the very sad priorities planners, developers, landscape architects and even ecological consultancies place on the open, structurally diverse habitats that support numerous rare invertebrates.

Littlebrook Lakes in 2006
Littlebrook Lakes in 2006 Copyright: Peter Harvey
© Peter Harvey

Littlebrook Lakes in March 2007
Littlebrook Lakes-March2007 Copyright: Peter Harvey
©
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