The journey of London clay from Crossrail to Wallasea

Crossrail have released a fascinating short film showing how 3 million tonnes of excavated earth from Crossrail sites across London have been transported to Wallasea Island in Essex, to help create what will be one of Europe’s largest nature reserves.

During 2013, Thomson Habitats, working with Thomson Ecology, carried out water vole mitigation works at Wallasea Island, involving a combination of displacement methodology and traditional trapping methods across 3km of ditches. This was one of the largest water vole displacement exercises ever undertaken within the UK.

To facilitate the works we

  • Supplied and installed 250m of water vole fencing
  • Installed 24 earth coffer dams to block off ditches and facilitate the drain down
  • Drained down 9km of ditches for water vole displacement and trapping
  • Cleared 12.5 ha of vegetation within ditches and on the banks to facilitate the trapping and displacement
  • Destructively searched 8,990m of water vole ditches — and over 1000 burrows – through a combination of mechanical excavation and hand digging
  • Supplied and installed 30 custom-built water-vole release pens within the receptor area.
  • Wallasea Island Nature Reserve is planned to be in development until 2025. The scheme will recreate the ancient wetland landscape of mudflats and saltmarsh, lagoons and pasture, providing habitat for a huge variety of wildlife.

    You can watch the film here.

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