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Elmley Marshes, Kent

Volume 115: debated on Tuesday 28 April 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will specify the management objectives agreed between the Nature Conservancy Council and Mr. Merricks for the Elmley marsh, Kent, site of special scientific interest, the timetable for implementing these objectives and the individuals represented on the proposed management committee and the trustees of the new reserve trust.

I understand that the management objectives for the new reserve at Elmley marshes are intended to provide for the maintenance and enhancement of the full range of nature conservation interests in the reserve, particularly in connection with the breeding bird population, the over-wintering wildfowl and waders, and the invertebrate population. These will be implemented by a management plan, which will include a timetable. to be drawn up in co-operation with the Nature Conservancy Council.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how much the Nature Conservancy Council has given by way of grant or compensation to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds for managing part of the Elmley marsh, Kent, site of special scientific interest adjacent to that controlled by Mr. Merricks.

I am advised that the Nature Conservancy Council has agreed three applications for grant aid totalling £3,510 for the RSPB in connection with management works for its reserve at Elmley marshes.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what access the public will be granted and visitor facilities provided to the Elmley Marsh, Kent, site of special scientific interest, as a result of the payment of £1·6 million by the Nature Conservancy Council to Mr. Merricks.

I understand that the Elmley conservation trust will encourage the public to visit the site, although care will be needed to ensure that there is no conflict with the maintenance and enhancement of the scientific interest of the site. I understand it is intended to provide a visitor centre, a nature trail and observation hides, and that close attention will be given to the development of educational facilities on the site.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether the agreement signed with Mr. Merricks over the management of the Elmley Marsh, Kent, site of special scientific interest will be subject to review at periodic intervals; and if he will make a statement.

The management agreement provides for payments to be reviewed at three yearly intervals in accordance with the financial guidelines issued in accordance with section 50(2) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.