Environment Secretary Owen Paterson launched an innovative biodiversity offset project on Streatham Common on 17th December 2013.
Biodiversity offsetting aims to ensure that new natural sites are created or enhanced as compensation in a measurable way for sites that undergo unavoidable damage or loss due to development.
The project will see native species of trees, shrubs and other plants planted at carefully selected areas on Streatham Common (most of which was declared Lambeth’s first ever Local Nature Reserve in April 2013). The planting – and some maintenance work – will more than offset the removal of trees necessary for the expansion of the Thameslink train depot in Selhurst and is aimed at increasing the biodiversity on the Common. The work will be overseen by the London Wildlife Trust, who will look after the new plantings until 2017. Work will begin soon but not until Lambeth Council and the Friends have agreed on the details.