Beddington Farmlands is home to important and rare populations of birds. An incredible 256 species of bird have been recorded on the site with over 150 species recorded each year.
Over 40 Red Data List (of highest most conservation concern) have been recorded with several species actually breeding on site: Northern Lapwing, Common Cuckoo, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Skylark, Song Thrush, House and Tree Sparrow and historically Marsh Warbler. Nationally scarce visitors have also bred on site including Bluethroat, Spotted Crake and Little Bittern.
The site is also a very important migration stop over and re-fuelling location and very rare birds are frequently recorded sometimes attracting twitchers from all over the country. Some of the most rare birds recorded include Glaucous-winged Gull from Alaska, Killdeer from North America, Pacific Golden Plover from Siberia and other vagrants from the Mediterranean, the Arctic and the Near East.
Northern Lapwing- over 20 pairs breed in good years. An exceptional number of pairs for this iconic farmlands bird thriving in the heart of an urban environment.
Curlew Sandpiper- one of many migrant wader species that re-fuel on their journey between the breeding grounds in the High Arctic and the wintering grounds further South (as far as Sub-Saharan Africa).
A traditional winter visitor to the site which has been lost due to over-intensive land use. As the nature reserve develops over the coming years it is hoped that this magnificent bird graces the grasslands of Beddington Farmlands once again. (photo by Roger Browne)
Northern Wheatear- one of many migrant passerine species which utilise Beddington Farmlands as part of their life cycle. Stop-over sites are so important for conservation as they provide the link between the breeding and wintering areas.
Kestrel- one of up to 50 breeding (territory holding) species on site. Common Kestrel is listed as Amber- which is of medium conservation concern.
Permission has been granted by the local authority and endorsed by the London Mayor and Central Government to build an incinerator on Beddington Farmlands despite the applicants breach of previous planning conditions (to deliver a BAP habitat specific nature reserve as part of a Regional Park by 2015 to 2023), inadequate mitigation measures, loss of important Wet Grassland habitat and loss of Metropolitan Open Land.
Judicial Review Proceedings have been commenced to bring the matter to court in order for the case to be reviewed and to question why the local authority, the Mayor and Central Government are allowing the damaging of the South London Nature Reserve and in doing so are compromising the opportunity for South London to host a premier urban nature reserve- a flagship for people and nature co-existing .
Other campaigners are also highlighting the health risks related to mass bulk incineration and favour a decentralised approach to dealing with waste with an emphasis on recycling and reuse- which sounds sensible too.