Monday, 25 January 2016

Viridor Credits, the Conservation NGOs and Beddington Farmlands

Interesting the relationship between Viridor and the conservation NGOs.  The NGOs that are supported with Viridor money include some of the most 'powerful' groups e.g. RSPB, The Wildlife Trusts, The Woodland Trust and The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust. Click on link below to see the biodiversity projects that Viridor credits support:

It's a particularly strange relationship when you look at the results of the restoration at Beddington Farmlands (below) and how Viridor have been responsible for causing an ecological collapse there. Seems strange  that on one hand Viridor are supporting biodiversity projects (often small ones, focused on novelty e.g. big Cranes in well protected and well off areas) and on another are destroying major sites and whole ecological systems elsewhere. Also seems strange that the conservation NGOs are party to this and are basically acting as the PR vehicle for Viridor.

I guess it's not really a surprise that the state of nature conservation in the UK is in such a crisis! 

Here's a few results of Viridor's work at Beddington Farmlands (results from 2013): 

Conservation Management Scheme Breeding Target Species
Tree Sparrow- down from nearly 1000 birds in 2007 to 9 pairs in 2013 (reduced further to 1-2 pairs in 2015)
Little Ringed Plover- 0 pairs in 2013
Ringed Plover- 0 pairs in 2013
Redshank- 0 pairs in 2013 (extinct as a breeding bird since 2005)
Common Tern - 0 pairs in 2013
Yellow Wagtail- 0 pairs in 2013 (extinct as a breeding bird since 1995)
Lapwing- Down from 22 pairs in 2005 to 12 pairs in 2013
Sedge Warbler- Down from 25 pairs in 2000 to 2 pairs in 2013
Reed Bunting- Down from 23 pairs in 1995 to 1-2 pairs in 2013
Whitethroat and Reed Warbler- Relatively stable

Conservation Management Scheme Wintering Target Species
Teal- Down from 830 in 1995/1996 to 350 in 2012/2013
Shoveler- Down from 150 in 1995/96 to 100 in 2012/2013
Lapwing- Down from 165 in 1995/96 to 35 in 2012/2013
Snipe- Down from 35 in 1995/1996 to 20 in 2012/2013
Water Pipit- Down from 10 in 2000/2001 to 3 in 2010/2011
Green Sandpiper- stable

Conservation Management Scheme Restoration Progress
Acid Grassland- Originally due for development from 2003 onwards. No progress to date.
Wet Grassland- Due for completion in 2011. Minimal progress to date.
Neutral Grassland- Due for completion in 2008. Some progress.
Southern and Northern Lakes- Completed but not to specification with in-correct water height and no on-going maintenance
Public Access- Originally the nature reserve and regional park was to be completed and open to the public in 2015. 

Following species also in decline on site since the current conservation management plan has been in place: Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Ruff, Greenshank, Turtle Dove, Cuckoo, Whinchat  and House Martin

And before anyone says that several of these species are in regional decline- the cause of regional decline is often the cumulative effect of loss at the local level (Beddington was bucking several national trends before the restoration slipped further behind). 


Arjun Dutta said...

WHY are they doing this?

Peter Alfrey said...

Viridor believe they can default on their environmental responsibilities and destroy our local wildlife, our reserve and future public regional park and get away with it. Viridor promised as part of being given permission to use the reserve for waste management they would restore the site to a public nature reserve and conserve the important wildlife populations on the site throughout. That has been a complete lie.
Following a court case and a formal complaint to the council and local government ombudsman which resulted in no action being taken on Viridor (it is impossible to enforce conditions on companies via a formal legal route when they are very rich as they can keep paying lawyers to defend their wrong) the only course of action is pressure from local people, community groups and conservation groups to campaign against these environmental scoundrels and to encourage our councils, MPs and organisations to withdraw from associating themselves with these kind of people until they start behaving themselves and keeping their promises and acting in a responsible way.

Arjun Dutta said...


Peter Alfrey said...

I agree