West Thurrock Marshes background
West Thurrock Marshes is home to over 1300 species of invertebrates, birds and reptiles, including dozens of rare species and 36 animals listed in the conservation Red Data Book (a list of the most rare and endangered species). It is one of the best sites for endangered wildlife in the UK. The site is home to seven invertebrate species prioritised for UK conservation action (BAP species), including the Brown-banded carder bee (Bombus humilis) and the Saltmarsh shortspur beetle Anisodactylus poeciloides. The Distinguished jumper (Sitticus distinguendus) is a charismatic spider that is found on only one other site in the whole of the UK €“ this site too is under threat.
Why does the site face destruction?
In 2006 Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation €“ an unelected, government-appointed body with responsibility for taking planning decisions that impact on local people and the environment €“ approved the construction of Royal Mail distribution warehouses and car parks covering an area equivalent to 15 football pitches on the Marshes. The local Council joined environmental organisations in opposing the plans, which would destroy 70% of the flower rich grassland €“ the habitat of greatest importance to the endangered animals. Government legislation places a new legal duty on all public bodies to have regard to the conservation of biodiversity. Buglife€™s judicial review against the Thurrock Development Corporation will reveal if this legal duty will actually protect our wildlife.
How can I help?
Firstly, thank you for signing Buglife's petition and support so far.
Please join Buglife
One of the best ways to support Buglife's work in general, and their fight to save West Thurrock Marshes in particular is to Join Buglife. It costs just £18 per year, and you€™ll receive an attractive membership pack including four bug posters, and regular newsletters throughout the year. Join online today at http://www.buglife.org.uk/joinus/
Please make a donation
Taking legal action was an extremely daunting step for Buglife to take, and we only did so after taking extensive advice. Legal action is of course very expensive and Buglife staff have invested a great deal of time in working with our legal team to compile all the necessary documents and put together sound legal arguments. You can help Buglife to defend West Thurrock Marshes and conserve invertebrates in the Thames Gateway area by making a donation, however large or small, to support this work. Please go to http://www.buglife.org.uk/joinus/makeadonationtoday.htm to make a donation now.
You can get the latest news on the site on Buglife's website