Saturday, 28 January 2012

Important: Rainham landfill site

There have been problems recently at Veolia's Rainham landfill, which unlike the adjacent RSPB reserve and riverside footpath is a private industrial site to which public access is not permitted. On three recent occasions birders have been found trespassing; one incident apparently involved 10 people on the site without permission.

Anyone who wants to watch gulls in the area should stay outside the landfill perimeter at all times and enjoy the excellent birding on the clearly marked riverside pedestrian and cycle path that circumnavigates the site. In fact, larger numbers of gulls are often present near the tip rather than on it, either on the river, foreshore or RSPB reserve (particularly Wennington Marsh), all areas which are easily accessible or viewable. It is here that the recent Glaucous and both Iceland Gulls were found, not on the landfill itself, and indeed last winter’s Slaty-backed Gull was found and twitched outside the tip.

Please would everyone visiting Rainham therefore keep to public areas. Any further problems may result in access difficulties for the very small team who, with kind permission from the site owner and with health and safety training, are periodically allowed to visit the landfill to ring and monitor gulls. Rainham landfill is a working site with dangerous machinery and hazardous substances constantly in operation – please do not put yourself or the goodwill of the site owner at risk.

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