Beddington Farmlands Open Days9 August 2016
Get a sneak preview of how an active landfill site is being transformed into a wildlife conservation area
Local people are being offered the opportunity to have a sneak preview of how the 97 hectare Beddington Farmlands is being transformed from an active landfill site into one of London’s most important wildlife conservation areas.
Viridor, who operate the site, has teamed up with the Beddington Farmland Bird Group and MKA Ecology to provide guided tours over two days:
- “Bird Watchers’ Paradise”: Tuesday 23 August (10am and 1pm) – in partnership with Viridor, the Beddington Farmland Bird Group and MKA Ecology
- Beddington Farmlands Walks: Sunday 11 September (10am, 12pm and 3pm)
Visitors will be able to learn about the history of the site (formerly a Victorian sewerage treatment facility) and see the significant amount of restoration work that has already taken place, including the creation of two large lakes and a reedbed along the western boundary of the site. They will also be able to see the active landfill operation, providing a thought-provoking insight into where the rubbish we throw away currently ends up.
The guided tours will take in the £205m Beddington Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) that is currently under construction. Once operational, in 2018, any household waste brought to the site will be treated in the ERF instead of being sent to landfill, generating 26MW of electricity each year: enough to power approximately 30,000 homes and the facility itself. Finally visitors will be able to learn more about the restoration work that is planned for the site once landfill operations cease.
The restoration of the landfill site and surrounding areas is being overseen by the Conservation and Access Management Committee (CAMC). The CAMC brings together Sutton Council and local community representatives in an advisory manner to work in partnership with Viridor to deliver the effective restoration of the Beddington Farmlands site.
Councillor Nighat Piracha, Chair of the Conservation and Access Management Committee (CAMC), said:
“On behalf of the CAMC we are delighted to be able support these opportunities for the local community to access the Beddington Farmlands. We are working with Viridor to restore the site into a rich network of ecological habitats with areas for the public to access in the future. However whilst the landfill site is still operational, we are providing open days so that local people can check up on the restoration works and enjoy the Beddington Farmlands.”
Councillor Phil Doyle, Chair of the South London Waste Partnership Joint Committee, said:
“Beddington Farmlands has been the home of essential sewerage and waste treatment operations for over 150 years. In the near future, the landfill operation will be replaced with a state-of-the-art Energy Recovery Facility and the vast majority of this huge site will be restored into a haven for wildlife. These open days are a great opportunity for local people to learn more about the site and the plans for the future.”
Ian Morrish, Director of Landfill Energy for Viridor said of the open days:
“Being able to show the communities of South London what we do is vitally important. Every day we are offering a range of services to the South London Waste Partnership, and soon we will be diverting residual waste produced by households in the area away from landfill too. Once we finish landfilling we will start restoring the site, and once established, the community will be able to benefit from this open space. These open days offer a sneak peek into the progress we are making.”
The open days are free of charge, but guided tours will have limited spaces with bookings made on a first come first serve basis. Anyone interested in booking onto a guided tour should contact Andrew Turner, Viridor’s Communications Business Partner, on 07500 338 183 or via the email address: [email protected]