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Say NO to Mayor Boris' estuary airport

Last modified: 18 January 2012

Mudflat with birdfootprints across it

Thames mudflats are irreplaceable for the wildlife that lives there, as are the salt marshes, tributaries and water meadows, help us save them.

Image: Andy Hay

The RSPB has warned the Government against including a Thames Estuary airport in an upcoming consultation on the future of aviation.

David Cameron is set to announce an official consultation which will include plans for an airport hub in the Estuary, a haven for hundreds of thousands of wildfowl and wading birds.

As well as destroying this vital habitat, experts believe an airport here would be at high risk of bird strike, with very serious flight-safety implications.

RSPB conservation director Martin Harper, said: “There is no economic argument for destroying a vital habitat for thousands of wetland birds. We would be horrified if this act of environmental vandalism goes ahead simply to suit a short-termist approach to the economic mess we are in.

“Concreting over our natural environment and pumping more carbon into our atmosphere is no way to grow a long term sustainable future of our country.

“The last Government produced a white paper which looked at this idea and it concluded that it would be bad for business, bad for wildlife and bad for air safety. This Government now risks wasting public money in order to reach the same conclusion.

“The Estuary is not a wasteland waiting to be developed for the benefit of London, it is a jewel in our natural crown and is only there as a result of years of campaigning from local residents and conservationists.

“George Osborne has already made it clear that he feels environmental regulation protecting our most valuable wildlife sites is a brake on business. Weakening those rules would give environmentally destructive proposals like this an easy ride. After facing huge public opposition in response to proposed forestry sell-offs and the reform of England’s planning system, is the Government ready for a third major public uproar?”

The RSPB's calling on individuals to campaign with us by asking local MP's for smart growth and by taking some of the simple steps to help support wildlife outlined in it's online campaign, Stepping Up for Nature. See the links on the right for more information.

How you can help

Nature is in trouble – so millions of people are stepping up to help. Our wildlife has been disappearing at an alarming rate. But small steps make a big difference. If we all act together and get stuck in, we can save our wildlife.