19th May 2023
On Friday Sir John Whittingdale MP visited the new Chelmer Blackwater Nature Reserve, located next to the Heybridge Tesco Car Park. This site has been acquired by a new Community Interest Company, with the purpose of preventing it from being developed and to preserve it as a natural wildlife site whilst also maintaining public access.
The not-for-profit community interest company was established by a group of local residents, who were able to negotiate with Tesco for the land to be let on a 100-year lease at a pepper-corn rent.
The site has been relatively undisturbed for years and is frequented by a variety of species of birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammals. The site is also unique for the area, being bordered to the South by the tidal River Chelmer and to the North by the Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation Canal, yet it also in close proximity to Maldon Town Centre, Heybridge and adjoining the network of local country paths.
John is pictured with Chairman, Patrick Ellum and wildlife directors Simon Wood (author of Birds of Essex) and John Buchanan (Wildlife of Maldon).