RSPB in talks over Essex nature reserve


The RSPB is in talks to manage the entirety of Canvey Wick, an SSSI on Canvey Island, Essex.

The charity currently manages 19 hectares of the 100-hectare site in partnership with Buglife on behalf of land owners, The Land Trust. Canvey Wick is one of the most important British sites for endangered invertebrates.

Yellow Wagtail breeds in the hay meadow and wet grassland habitats at Canvey Wick (Mike Robinson).

A spokesman for the RSPB said: "We are discussing management of the remaining 80 hectares and if agreed will manage the site in accordance with sites that are of special scientific interest. This work will include improving the condition of the site."

The organisation is remaining tight lipped over staffing changes and the potential costs associated with the move, but it's understood that the move would create jobs.

The plans have been welcomed by the community. Peter Grieg, Canvey Indepedent councillor for Winter Gardens said: "I think this is excellent news and I would rather the RSPB have the site than it becomes housing.

"We have lost so much of our green space and so when people see fencing they think it'll be turned into houses. If it creates more jobs then even better, we always need more jobs. It seems like a grand idea to me and I hope The Land Trust agrees to this and it all goes through."

Island residents say it'll be a good addition to the popular site. Carole Sargant, 67, of Long Road, Canvey, said she regularly goes to the reserve with her dogs. She said: "This will help make sure we save the site, which is so lovely.

"We want to see more work like this, to preserve our open spaces on Canvey. My grandchildren love the events held by the RSPB and this will help the charity hold bigger and better events."

Alan Carter, director of portfolio management at The Land Trust, said: "The Land Trust is working with RSPB at present to extend this working partnership on more land across the site. This will mean there is more opportunity for visitors to experience the wildlife and landscape at Canvey Wick. Should this arrangement go ahead, the Land Trust will continue to own and manage the site with RSPB Essex managing on our behalf."