Bird watchers scupper major port: now environmentalists turn to Thames Estuary

Environmentalists have successfully scuppered plans for the 600 million (sterling) Dibden Bay container port near Southampton.

Now campaigners are concentrating on ending plans to build a P&O container berth at the brownfield former Shell oil refinary site at Thurrock on the River Thames. Such a project would bring thousands of jobs to the area which, many say is an eyesore of obsolete industrial infrastructure.

However others believe that the plans to dredge the Thames Estuary from Sea Reach right down to the Long Sand Head would damage the cockle beds on the Maplin Sands with tide-borne silt.