Thames Gateway and the Olympics

Case study: Vange Marshes

As part of the wider Greengrid programme in South Essex, Vange Marshes Reserve came into existence in December 2005. Lying to the North West of Canvey Island and to the South of Basildon this Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) reserve is made up of the North Vange Marshes and the Vange Wick Marshes.

Vange Marsh North was originally a lake, but flood water has been removed through joint working between the Environment Agency, the Greengrid partnership and the RSPB, to be replaced by a series of water management measures - weirs, sluicesLandscape view of Vange Marshes and even a moat, which will enabled the Reserve to become a sustainable wetland. Vange Wick Marsh on the other hand will continue to be managed in a traditional way with grazing cattle, but the grassland will be wetter.

Vange Marshes lie in close proximity to Wat Tyler Country Park and there are plans afoot to open a new footpath connecting the two in early 2008, as well as a panoramic viewpoint and new access. Wat Tyler Country Park is to benefit from a Ă‚£5.1m Heritage Interpretation Centre which will provide an important visitor and education facility for the Marshes. This project will benefit from funding from EEDA, Heritage Lottery Fund, the RSPB and the Communities and Local Government Thames Gateway Programme.

Furthermore Vange Hill Open Space in Basildon boasts a 30 acre site of former plotlands that is now a public open space lying next to Basildon Golf Course. This site gives stunning views across the Thames Estuary and the South Essex Marshes. It is made up of flower-rich grassland with small copses and hedges and uncommon plants and some nationally rare invertebrates thrive in this area.

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