Ecology takes priority at Erith Quarry
29 January 2020
Since first taking on the abandoned quarry site at Erith in 2014, the conservation of the rich flora and fauna of the 54-acre plot has remained a priority for Anderson and joint venture partner, L&Q.
So much so, that over £1m has already been spent ensuring the natural habitats of newts, snakes and other reptiles, along with a wide variety of bird species, are successfully protected and emboldened.
Having lain derelict since the former quarry was repurposed as landfill for World War II bombing demolition, a unique ecosystem had established itself on the site, which provided an exciting challenge to Anderson when the development company first sought to clear the area.
“The whole site is classified as a Site of Interest for Nature Conservation (SINC),” explains Anderson senior planning manager, Tom Pike. “Basically, the whole site is protected, but some areas have more ecological merit than others.”
Working with local conservation groups, Anderson set about identifying and eventually relocating the wildlife into the designated ecology area, which lies to the eastern boundary of the 54-acre site and will eventually be accessible to the public via a raised viewing walkway.
This bulk of this rigorous process took place while the site was being planned but the site clearance could not begin until all of the wildlife had been migrated.
“We surveyed [the site] for nearly two years before we actually started doing any work. Before you start developing you have to have a certain window of not finding anything,” added Mr Pike.
In addition to the public eco-walkway, over 800 trees are set to be planted in and around the ecology area and over 200 bird boxes are to be installed.
With completion of the entire development estimated for the middle of the decade, the Quarry will eventually encircle up to 900 homes, a state-of-the-art three form entry primary school and a central park that will run the entire length of the site from north to south.