Greening the Gateway
The idea of a Green Grid – a greenspace network of footpaths, cycleways and wildlife corridors woven through urban areas and connecting up with North Kent’s wonderful countryside and estuary landscapes - has become a key feature of transforming the environment of the Thames Gateway and is steadily building up through new developments and regeneration schemes.
This has been taken a stage further over recent years through the innovative concept of the Thames Gateway Parklands, designed to make the Gateway a great place to live, work and visit.The Thames Gateway Parklands programme was delivered through three local partnerships across the Thames Gateway. Greening the Gateway Kent and Medway (GGKM) led the programme in North Kent. GGKM was wound up on 31 March 2014, but its website provides legacy information about the projects and programmes delivered - see www.gtgkm.org.uk.
Medway Swale Estuary
MSEP brings together a wide range of public, private and not-for-profit partners to:
- Co-ordinate and promote sustainable management and use of the estuary;
- Deliver projects that protect and enhance the estuary’s natural & historical environment;
- Increase understanding of the estuary’s importance, through research, publications and educational activities;
- Provide a neutral forum to facilitate open discussion around issues affecting the estuary.
For further information about MSEP, click here.
Thames Gateway Parklands
The Thames Gateway Parklands programme comprised seven projects in Thames Gateway Kent:
- Waterlink Way and Dartford Loop - a series of new wetlands and backwaters that enhance natural habitats, improve amenities and reduce flood risk. Forms part of a 12 km river footpath with a Dartford loop spur that links parks and open spaces in a circular route around Dartford.
- Erith Marshes Belvedere Link - improvements to 156 hectares of marshland landscape, including the creation of a sustainable drainage system to increase flood storage capacity and provides access to the Thames Path.
- Dartford Greenheart - adds more than 13 hectares of previously unacessible greenspace to the public realm of Dartford town centre, improves habitats along 2.5km of the River Darent and provides 3.5km of new and improved footpath connections.
- Cyclopark - a 43 hectare park with 10 km of cycle paths and a cycling activity centre of national significance set in 10 hectares of new woodland and chalk habitat.
- Great Expectations - restoration of 1 km stretch of Thames & Medway Canal for safe water-based recreation and upgrading of the canal towpath and Thames Estuary path along wetlands to Higham and the new RSPB Reserve at Cliffe Pools.
- Great Lines Heritage Park - provides 75 hectares of greenspace in and around the ramparts of Chatham Lines, with 6 new flagship entrances created and 3 km of access routes that bring 10 hectares of land into public use.
- Milton Creek Gateway Landscapes - this extends the Church Marshes Country park south along Milton Creek, creating 52 acres of greenspace with 10 km of new foot and cycle paths that links Sittingbourne town centre to its northern suburbs.
GIFT-T was a transnational project bringing together communities and the business world on the continent to deliver sustainable and robust green infrastructure (GI) across North West Europe. The aims were to engage communities and the business sector to attract new funding and delivery mechanisms for delivering GI at a time when the sector is facing increasing pressure from development from new roads and housing while at the same time facing cuts in public spending. GGKM led elements of GIFT-T particularly relating to the Hoo Peninsula Case Study. The project was completed in May 2015, but case study and other information can be viewed on the project webpage http://www.gift-t.eu/.