Beam Parklands Rewilding for Reptiles

5th May 2023

Green space charity the Land Trust, in partnership with the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham, is excited to announce that it has been awarded funding through the 2022 Rewild London Fund. This funding will be used for a project to improve habitats for amphibians and reptiles along the Dagenham Corridor in East London.

The Dagenham Corridor includes a number of Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINCs), including Beam Parklands which is managed by the Land Trust in partnership with the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham. This funding is a vital resource and opportunity to undertake a focused programme of works to identify and increase reptile and amphibian populations, as well carry out important habitat works to benefit a broad range of species along the Dagenham Corridor.

The Mayor of London has announced that 21 other projects along with this one, have been awarded Rewild London Fund funding in partnership with London Wildlife Trust. Funds totalling £850,000 will enhance and preserve London’s most valuable wildlife sites covering around 116 hectares of priority habitat to be created and restored, including the reintroduction of beavers to West London, and improving the water ways in Barnes for wildlife to return and flourish.

Beam Parklands, which will be the focus for some elements of the project, is now an established wetland park located in the floodplain of the River Beam, a tributary of the River Thames which also forms the boundary between the London Boroughs of Barking & Dagenham and Havering. The role of the 52-hectare site is flood protection, protecting homes, schools and businesses in the area. With a multitude of habitats including species rich acid grassland, river, ponds, woodland, and scrub this diverse site is home to diverse species including Water Voles, Great Crested Newts and Emperor dragonflies.

Alongside opportunities for habitat improvements, the project will engage the local community in the works taking place on site and provide educational opportunities around the reptiles and amphibians.

Benjamin Sanderson Estates Manager at the Land Trust said: “The funding for this project, which includes Beam Parklands, will be used to greatly enhance both the diverse habitats and community education programmes on site. We are excited to see what the programme of works discovers, as well as see the benefits it has on reptile and amphibian populations.”

Gareth Winn Ranger Team Leader in the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham said: “The funding awarded not only benefits Beam Parklands but also the wider Dagenham Corridor sites such as Eastbrookend Country Park and The Chase Local Nature Reserves. Rangers and local volunteers with the assistance of the London Essex and Hertfordshire Amphibian and Reptile Trust, are carrying out the surveys and are already getting excellent results.”

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