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Natural environment

The expansion of Heathrow will affect the existing natural environment but it also represents a unique opportunity to deliver high quality mitigation around the airport for biodiversity (wildlife and plants), the landscape and the water environment (rivers, ponds and streams) – for the benefit of both local communities and wildlife.

Our vision is to create a positive legacy of better, well connected green infrastructure, which uses land efficiently to achieve multiple environmental, social and economic benefits. As part of the development of our proposals, we are undertaking surveys and analysis to identify and respond to issues relating to the natural environment. Your feedback will be key to the development of our proposals.


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Biodiversity

We are committed to ensuring that current populations of animals and plants can be maintained and will continue to work with Natural England and other stakeholders to provide biodiversity offsets.

Our surveys together with your feedback will help inform the types of habitats that we create or the species for which we provide. In developing our proposals we will give important consideration to minimising the risk of wildlife, particularly birds, hitting aircraft.

Around the airport we have an opportunity to create linked spaces for both people and wildlife (known as multi-functional spaces) which reflect the characteristics of the local area. As distance from the airport increases, the risk of birds hitting aircraft reduces, so we may be able to create a greater range of habitat types.

Landscape and Visual Amenity

Our design will seek to minimise adverse landscape and visual effects. Where there is opportunity to do so, we want to find ways to benefit the landscape through carefully considered and integrated natural and built environment proposals.

Water environment

The project will interact with a number of rivers and areas of flood storage around the airport. We are seeking to protect and maintain connectivity of rivers in the immediate environment around the airport while looking for opportunities to develop and enhance the wider water environment. We want to explore opportunities to protect people and properties, promote river health and biodiversity and recreational benefits, such as by opening up land to create floodplain storage.

Further information

Our proposals for expanding the airport present some important opportunities to introduce improvements to the natural environment around Heathrow. This ranges from improvements to habitats for different species to leaving a legacy of a better-connected landscape that you can use. More information can be found in"Our Design Approach to Natural Environment" - available in the Documents & Resources section of this website.
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