Fairlop Waters – Expansion? confusion?

Anyone else confused about the Fairlop Waters’ expansion? We are.

The expansion or doubling of Fairlop Waters suggests that Fairlop Waters will be getting bigger and marketed as though this is something new. Its not, and that is confusing!!

Fairlop Waters is a part of Fairlop Plain, an area of Special Interest for Nature Conservation (SINC).

It has been subject to gravel extraction since the 1960’s. Fairlop Waters Golf course was the first section and you can see from the map below each of the additional sections A, B, C, D, E, F.

The important part and perhaps the cause of confusion, is the fact that each section extracted has a restoration plan which is in line with it being a SINC. These have been in place since gravel extraction was given permission.

This is not new, it’s been happening since the start – 60 years ago.

A section of Fairlop Plain will have gravel extracted then it is restored to its previous use: agriculture, nature, green space, recreation. Examples of this are the golf course and the Aldborough Hatch Nature Reserve etc.

Fairlop Waters gravel extraction - not doubling of Fairlop Waters.
Fairlop Waters is not getting bigger

Gravel Extraction at Fairlop Waters

Gravel extraction at Area D of Fairlop Waters Country Park was completed around 3 years ago and returned to Fairlop Plain / Fairlop Waters with no great fanfare. Incidentally, this has always been called Aldborough Hatch Nature Reserve.

Areas F is almost finished and area E have not even been started. Completion of that will probably take at least 10 years or judging from the previous gravel extraction areas at Fairlop Waters, it will be a lot longer.

The ‘expansion’ is not an expansion, its just the restoration plan along with some re-jigging and hopefully improvements that will be Fair to Fairlop’s nature and wildlife.

Fairlop Waters is not getting bigger

Doubling the size of Fairlop Waters may sound good, a marketing ploy, but its not true. Visitors have been walking around these parts of Fairlop Waters for many years, they have been there a long time. Nothing new, no extension, no addition, no doubling.

What Redbridge should be doing is ratifying Fairlop Plain’s status as a Site of Metropolitan Importance (SMI) as recommended by the GLA in 2016. The question is why haven’t they?

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