Conservation at Hadleigh

Hadleigh Park Meadow

Since the London 2012 Olympic Games Hadleigh Park has seen several enhancements to both the environment and the preservation of its history.

  • Substantial areas of grassland habitat have been created and restored offering more space for nationally notable wild flowers and invertebrates.
  • We have opened up outstanding views of the Thames Estuary which can be enjoyed from all over Hadleigh Park.
  • We have installed new interpretation panels, signage and seating throughout the trails network encouraging people to explore and enjoy the rich heritage.
  • We have added improved interpretation of the historical World War II features across the site as well as improving the trail network to Hadleigh Castle.
  • We have created new and improved traffic-free linkages between Hadleigh town centre, Leigh-on-Sea Railway Station and Hadleigh Farm.
  • We have worked with the Salvation Army to convert an area of arable farmland for wildflower grassland to create an unbroken wildlife corridor from Benfleet Downs to Belton Hills.
  • We have established new experimental habitats for rare bumblebees in partnership with the University of East London and the Greater Thames Marshes Nature Improvement Area, read more here.
  • We have installed new fencing to protect grassland wildlife from damage and to allow conservation grazing with our herd of native breed Red Poll cattle, read more here.
  • We are working in partnership with Cranfield University to trial cutting-edge GPS cattle trackers to ensure our cows graze the right places at the right time to benefit wildlife.
  • With generous support from the Veolia North Thames Trust, we employ and train two young apprentices in conservation management.

All the works at Hadleigh Park have followed a comprehensive Wildlife Protection Plan and Ecological Management Plan to manage user conflicts and protect sensitive environmental features from harm. Both plans received Natural England approval and they were a key partner with Essex County Council when designing the Grasslands project that aimed to improve the condition of the Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Read more here.

In addition we had an independent Ecological Clerk of Works onsite to ensure the works were carried out to the specification in the plans.

You can read more about the ecological work done at Hadleigh, in our Ecological Management Delivery Plan.