The Landscape Guide

Thames Habitat Action Plans

See index page for Chelsea to Tower Thames Landscape Strategy

Habitat Action Plans (HAPs) are a well-developed sector of the Thames Landscape Strategy, published by the the City Corporation and the riverside London Boroughs. The Tidal Thames Habitat Action Plan was published by the Thames Estuary Partnership Biodiversity Action Group. The City of London has a Biodiversity Action Plan with a section (iii Tidal Thames HAP) on the Thames. It 'strives to protect and enhance the wildlife habitats, species diversity and local distinctiveness of the Tidal Thames'. The strategy states that

  • Birds are more affected by the nature of the foreshore than by salinity.
  • Fish eating birds, such as Cormorants and Grey Herons are flourishing, as are Mallard Ducks, Herring Gulls and Black-Backed Gulls
  • The key habitats are artificial structures, such as the old pier in front of the Customs House, which provide roosting sites. Vertical walls, when timber-clad, can support a variety of plants and invertebrates. The City therefore encourages the use of new timber and the retention of old timber
  • The littoral foreshore supports over 350 invertebrate species

The points are valid and the policy recommendations are good - but they could be much more ambitious, especially with regard to the use of planning conditions to improve habitat conditions.