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Rainham Marshes RSPB Reserve
Rainham Marshes RSPB Reserve | Photograph: David Levenson (rspb-images.com)The embankment. Open weekend, Rainham Marshes RSPB Reserve, London

London is about to get some ‘natural’ revamping

Prepare to get your feel wet (in a good way) with some watery rewilding

Written by Sarath Novas
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Get in touch with your wild side. There are plans to ‘rewild’ London, bringing back wild green spaces that are unkept and diverse and where nature is allowed to take its course without intervention. 

The idea is currently being drafted by a panel of rewilding experts commissioned by the London mayor, Sadiq Khan. Ben Goldsmith, a financier and environmental crusader who sits on the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’s board of directors, came up with the ingenious idea.

Nick Bruce-White of the RSPB says, ‘We want people to connect with and enjoy these places. They should be wonderful places to go. If people aren’t connected with nature and connected with their landscapes then we’re all doomed? Nature only wins when people care about it.’

There is speculation that these kinds of spaces will see the return of bird species such as the redshank and lapwing. It is already underway in Rainham Marshes Reserve, where there is a plan to turn part of the Thames estuary into a grassland full of paddling birds and other kinds of wild animals. There is even a plan to reintroduce beavers to the capital’s marshes as soon as the conditions are right for them. There has already been a great success with their release in Enfield and more will be released in parts of Ealing.

So, soon Londoners will be able to take a stroll and see a plethora of wildlife they’ve never clapped eyes on before in the capital. 

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