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Beddington farmlands transforming into natural habitat as landfill site closes

Beddington farmlands transforming into natural habitat as landfill site closes
Beddington Farmlands open day

Beddington Farmlands is being transformed into a network of species-rich habitats as the neighbouring landfill site closes down.

Viridor, the company running the landfill site and incinerator, is required to restore the 120 hectare plot under an agreement with Sutton council.

The project will see the development of a series of habitats, including wet grassland, meadowland and hedge habitats to support wildlife species including lapwing and skylark, breeding wildfowl and duck populations.

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 c. 150-page technical Restoration Management Plan and Viridor’s planned timetable.”

Since the late nineties, the site has been used for the safe disposal of non-recyclable waste.

The local authority partnership (made up of Croydon, Kingston, Merton and Sutton) has now opted to divert its non-recyclable waste away from landfill.

It will now use the £205m Beddington Energy Recovery Facility to transform this waste into enough electricity.

Last month an air-quality group called for Viridor to be prosecuted following a fire at the incinerator, which is currently being investigated by the Environment Agency.

Four fire engines and 25 firefighters were involved in putting out a blaze in the site's waste transfer facility on July 11, which took more than nine hours to bring under control.

Viridor’s restoration team has recently held open days and invited members of the community on guided site tours to view the wet grassland habitat creation and newly-installed bird hides.

Cllr Barry Lewis, ward member for Wallington North, said: “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.”

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