The Greater Thames Nature Improvement Area was created in April of 2012 with core partners such as Essex County Council, Greening the Gateway Medway and Swale, the Thames Estuary Partnership, RSPB, Natural England, the Environment Agency and the Greater London Authority.
The NIA initially has three years to make an impact on the Thames Marshes biodiversity and its work is guided by 5 objectives set out in a Business Plan
Objective 1:Mapping the biodiversity. Early on, the NIA will map all known sites so the future investments can be targeted at areas of need and “stepping stones” between areas of interest
Objective 2: Partnership Working. Thes are projects where partners are either funding or helping with resources, such as, Defra’s Higher Level Stewardship scheme which will be promoted by a RSPB farmland Advisor. In Essex, Biodiversity Offsetting is being piloted with Thurrock Council to improve sites in Thurrock.
Objective 3 NIA Projects. These are project where NIA resources substantially fund improvement. Examples include a project in Essex to improve the habitat of Thames Terrace Invertebrates.
Objective 4: Communication. Telling the NIA story to landowners, partners and the public is absolutely critical and this project aims to convince all audiences that this project is vital to the sustainability of the Thames Estuary Marshes.
Objective 5: Legacy. Finally the project is looking to the future and is seeking to raise £5 to £7 million toward future projects.