Wild Things columnist Eric Brown learns protestors against plans for a decarbonisation plant encroaching on Crossness Nature reserve are still waiting for clarification about a vital land promise.

Well I'm delighted to see much of the media world has finally caught up with a topic I first broached in this column as long ago as October 4. This outlined proposals by Cory Energy to "acquire" six acres of the Crossness Nature reserve in connection with construction of a decarbonisation plant on the Belvedere riverfront. In mitigation Cory's were offering a six-hectare strip of land on Norman Road Field adjoining the reserve.

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However, as I wrote back then, Cory do not own this land. Friends of Crossness members claim Cory's have yet to clarify how they can promise land not in their ownership to create what they say will be an enlarged and enhanced reserve. Critics of the Cory plan insist the extra land in question is already wildlife-friendly and needs little "enhancing" even if it was somehow annexed by the company. And it would not mean a larger reserve.

Campaigners from Save Crossness Nature Reserve were left short of answers when they demonstrated the strength of feeling against Cory's plan by attending a community consultation event in Belvedere. On the same day, Crossness hosted local MP, Abena Oppong-Assare, who wanted to hear about impacts of the proposed scheme.

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Norman Road Field, through which most visitors access the reserve, is owned by Peabody, set aside for nature conservation as part of their own development mitigation and already has wildlife value. Protesters are deeply concerned that some areas of the media are unquestioningly repeating Cory's claim that Crossness will ultimately be a larger reserve.

With the consultation period now closed, it is likely the Cory proposal will be decided on eventually at ministerial level. Given the current Government's abysmal record on nature and wildlife I fear for the welfare of rare water voles, birds and insects when set against "fashionable" decarbonisation and Net Zero targets.