What is the Great Thames Marshes Improvement Area programme?
The Nature Improvement Areas (NIAs) Programme was established to meet recommendations provided in the Natural Environmental White Paper (2011). A total of 12 pilot projects were established across the UK which included The Greater Thames Marshes (GTM). The GTM area extends from Rainham Marshes in Central London 50 miles towards the North Sea across Kent and Essex to Foulness Island and Sheerness including the tidal extent of the Thames Estuary. This area is home to numerous world heritage sites, national nature reserves and sites of special scientific interest, it is one of the most nationally and internationally important estuaries for wintering waterfowl. Much of the wildlife in the marshes is vulnerable to habitat loss, disturbance, invasive species and climate change.
Greater Thames Marshes Improvement Area Partners
To protect the wildlife and their unique habitats, The Thames Estuary Partnership delivered a number of projects with partners including RSPB, Essex County Council, Greater London Authority, Natural England, Kent Wildlife Trust and the Environment Agency to protect and enhance biodiversity of the area and to create awareness around the importance of establishing nature improvement areas.