Dutch landscape architect, Nik van Nuland of Studio NVN, makes proposal for an eco resort to sit in the Thames Estuary alongside suggested new airport

Nik van Nuland's proposed eco resort in the Thames estuary, re-using old forts
Nik van Nuland's proposed eco resort in the Thames estuary, re-using old forts

Based around old forts in the mouth of the Thames, it wiould revitalise the area with a mix of leisure and wildlife sanctuaries which should help to mitigate the impact on migratory birds that the proposed airport would introduce.

Van Nuland explains: ‘Revitalising the old forts with leisure and wildlife sanctuaries would conserve their history and develop positive change in the habitat of the animals. These forts stand on sandbanks in the shallow waters and mudflats of the estuary which has also been a vital breeding ground for water birds. These mudflats undergo strong tidal differences and are easily generated by the sediment which comes from the Thames delta. By putting up simple barriers around these forts, sand will settle and shellfish and mussels can sprout, a welcome food source for birds.

‘A leisure purpose could bring a welcome alternative for local residents but also international travellers who enjoy a marine experience. London itself already has 30 million tourists a year, apart from the surrounding metropolis. These can provide an income for the maintenance and revitalization of the sanctuaries. Ecological scientists could monitor the bird flocks, stimulate fish populations and take care of the seals that regularly pop up. These animals need to coexist with the increasing need of logistics and have a designated area which stimulates their breeding and habitat.’

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