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Page last updated at 14:49 GMT, Monday, 16 August 2010 15:49 UK
Mucking landfill site to be turned into nature reserve
Plan of the proposed Thurrock Thameside Nature Park in Mucking
Work to transform the site is due to begin in 2011

A large landfill site in Mucking is to be transformed into a 845-acre nature reserve by the Essex Wildlife Trust.

Through donations, the trust raised the £100,000 needed to release a further £2.85m of grants to turn the site into the Thurrock Thameside Nature Park.

Extensive wildlife habitats, bridle, cycle and footpath networks, bird hides and visitor facilities will be created.

Work to transform the land is due to begin at the end of 2010, when it ceases to be used as a refuse tip.

"We're absolutely delighted that we're able to get on with this, it's tremendous news," said Director of the Essex Wildlife Trust, John Hall.

He told BBC Essex this was the biggest project the trust had ever undertaken.

"It's a bit of a blank canvass, because the soils are being brought in to cover over the landfill that's been going in there for many years and many habitats will be created," he said.

"We're looking at woodlands being created, there'll be a lot of flower-rich grassland supporting things like hares and lots of different types of insects.

"There's already various warblers on the lakes and birds using the coastal strip, but it's going to be a new lease of life for this part of Thurrock."

The land is currently owned and maintained by Corry Environmental.

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