Greening The Gateway - Greater Thames Marshes NIA
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Martin Hall
Greening the Gateway Kent and Medway
Tel: (01634) 337593 | E-Mail

Innovation Centre Medway (Phase 2) Maidstone Road Chatham Kent ME5 9SD

Greater Thames Marshes NIA


Greater Thames Marshes Nature Improvement Area


The Greater Thames Marshes Nature Improvement Area covers nearly 50,000ha of estuarine marshland in South East England, stretching from East London to Whitstable in Kent and Southend in Essex. It is one of the most important estuaries in Europe for some 300,000 wintering waterfowl and is home to endangered species such as the Water Vole, Shrill Carder Bee, unique invertebrates of the Thames Terrace soils and many farmland birds.

This valuable natural landscape is under pressure from habitat loss and disturbance through growth of developments, roads and other infrastructure; colonisation by invasive species that outcompete native species of flora and fauna, such as mink; and climate change, where sea-level rise will swallow up inter-tidal habitats leading to further loss of this valuable habitat. 

The Greater Thames Marshes NIA seeks to protect and enhance this valuable habitat and increase numbers of endangered species and protect existing flora and fauna. Thus this important landscape that is highly protected by national and international legislation is failing to live up to its full potential.

The Greater Thames Marshes Nature Improvement Area (GTMNIA) aims to work with local communities, visitors, businesses and experts to restore this valuable habitat to its former glory. The result will be a vibrant marshes and estuarine landscape where residents, businesses and experts work together for the benefit of wildlife to create a robust natural landscape that can exist alongside development and has greater resistance to the challenges of climate change. 


Over five years, the GTMNIA will:

1. Map evidence to determine where to target action that will have the greatest benefit to the overall area;

2. Manage, create and restore habitat for the beneft of scarce Thames Terrace invertebrates and breeding waders such as Lapwing, plus Brown Hare and invertebrates including the Scarce Emerald Damselfly; 

3. Work with business partners to increase investment in the area, such as commercial regeneration and biodiversity offsetting;

4. Engage local communities through a series of events and by increasing access to the area to widen awareness and understanding of the Greater Thames Marshes;

5. Ensure sustainability in the long-term through ongoing funding bids, promoting and supporting community and stakeholder involvement.


The GTMNIA will be led by the Thames Estuary Partnership. Medway Council will be the accountable body. Project delivery will be overseen by a Steering Group made up of key stakeholders, including the RSPB, the Wildlife Trusts, and Buglife, plus the greengrid partnerships in North Kent, East London and South Essex.