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Vision for the Beddington Farmlands

The Beddington landfill site is now closed to active waste. Inert construction soils are still delivered to the site and tipped towards the south of the site. Valencia is responsible for restoring the Beddington Farmlands in accordance with planning requirements, and Restoration Management Plan. The Valencia will also continue to monitor and manage the historic landfill infrastructure in accordance with the site’s environmental permit.

The Conservation Management Scheme sets out core objectives through which the Farmlands should be delivered, focused on creating a network of habitats to support target wildlife species and enabling appropriate public access that is sensitive to the needs of the ecology.

Current Conservation Management Scheme objectives:

  1. To develop and manage key habitats on site for the main target species of:
    • Lapwing
    • Redshank (though not present at the site, habitat would be maintained to allow its re-establishment)
    • Tree sparrow (since the publication of the CMS, this species is no longer on site but its wetland and scrub habitat plays an important role for other bird and invertebrate species and this will be maintained and enhanced); and
    • Yellow Wagtail (though not present at the site, habitat would be maintained to allow its re-establishment.
  2. To develop and manage key habitats on site for target species associated with ecologically immature wetland habitats such as:
    • Little Ringed Plover
    • Ringer Plover
    • Common tern
  3. To develop and manage the site for passage migrant wildfowl and passerine community by appropriate hydrogological management (also to consider water pipit and green sandpiper).
  4. To develop and manage the site for breeding reedbed species (such as reed and sedge warbler, reed bunting and potentially bearded tit) and for wintering species such as bittern.
  5. To develop and manage the site as a continuing part of a wider Site of Metropolitan Importance for Bats.
  6. To increase the biodiversity of the site by restoring sustainable areas of habitat that is of value in its own right as well as for other fauna too.
  7. To create an appropriate level of public access to allow enjoyment of the restored landform without impacting upon the nature conservation interests of the site.

* Recognising that if such conditions are put in place it is no guarantee that populations will not fluctuate due to other factors outside of the site operator including weather conditions, off site activities and predation.

The former Victorian sewage farm hosts a wide variety of wildlife and habitats. Sand and gravel extraction along with landfilling of the site in past decades now sees the need to create a network of habitats to support target species across the site. These habitats have been proposed to replace historic sewage sludge beds and meadowland that will support bird and wildlife that has made its home on the Farmlands for decades.

Alongside creating a network of habitats, footpaths will cross the Farmlands, creating a loop around the lakes, and up to the Wandle Vista viewpoint overlooking Hackbridge. The permissive footpath towards the west of the site will continue to form a link between Beddington Park, Hackbridge and Mitcham Common. Valencia has worked with the community to deliver an additional pathway crossing the Farmlands east-west connecting Hackbridge and Beddington. This access will be managed seasonally to balance community access and protecting key habitats that are sensitive to human interaction.

The Farmlands will support a diverse assemblage of wildlife, and throughout the year, access across the Farmlands site will be managed to protect breeding birds and deliver sensitive access for members of the community to learn more about the wildlife on their doorstep.

It is envisaged that the footpaths across the Farmlands, and connecting to seven bird hides will be suitable for walking and rambling, with benches and viewpoints affording glimpses of Sutton, Croydon and across the lakes and wet grasslands.

Valencia Waste Management will continue to manage and establish the habitats, using a network of volunteers, the Beddington Farmlands warden and also grazing livestock to help create high quality nature reserve habitats in the heart of south London.