World gull experts flock to Rainham gull mine

RSPB Rainham Marshes nature reserve and Veolia’s Rainham landfill to host THE ultimate gull ID

22 February 2013

For the next two days, the Veolia Environmental Services’ Rainham landfill and Rainham Marshes nature reserve will undoubtedly be the envy of many a gull interested birdwatcher.

A sold out two day gull ID event, jointly presented by RSPB Rainham Marshes and Veolia Rainham landfill,  will bring a small crowd of lucky birders up, close and personal with a varied palette of UK wintering gulls… and they will be in good company.

The event will be hosted by leading world experts on gulls, Klaus Malling Olsen, author of the “bible” Gulls of Europe, Asia and North America and Dominic Mitchell, publisher of Birdwatch Magazine and finder of the UK’s first slaty-backed gull (which coincidentally was found on Veolia’s Rainham landfill).

Together Klaus and Dominic will head a number of sessions dealing with the who’s who of the many species of gulls found on the landfill site. This is in itself rather unique as the site is not normally open to the public. It will be possible to get very close to the thousands of gulls flocking here in their search for food and the experts will talk participants through the various species and give hints and tips on how to tell the different species and races apart.

Keith McGurk, Veolia Environmental Services’ regional director, commented: “Biodiversity can often be found right on our doorsteps in some unusual locations and we actively encourage Rainham landfill as a haven for wildlife.  We believe this event provides a great opportunity for the RSPB to increase its specialist knowledge of wintering gulls and strengthen Rainham’s position on the ornithological map.”

Martin Holm, Visitor & Publicity Officer at Rainham Marshes is equally pleased: “I am very happy to be working together with Veolia’s Rainham landfill on this exciting event. Being neighbours –we’re both sitting on London’s eastern boundary alongside the River Thames - this is a great opportunity to join forces and offer visitors to Rainham Marshes an extra special encounter with wildlife, Martin Holm says and continues: “It is my hope that an event like this will make even more people aware of the amazing wildlife Rainham Marshes is boasting and will want to come back and see more.”

The landfill session will be followed by a special ID presentation by Klaus Malling Olsen back at the Rainham Marshes visitor centre.



For further media information or images, please contact Martin Holm, Visitors and Publicity Officer at RSPB Rainham Marshes on 01708 899 843 or

Veolia Environmental Services – PR Manager, Caroline Rams, Veolia Environmental Services’ PR Manager – 0207 812 5038 –

Editors’ Notes:

1. RSPB Rainham Marshes Environment and Education Centre, café and nature reserve is open seven days a week. For more information, please call 01708 899 840 or visit

2. The development of RSPB Rainham Marshes nature reserve would not be possible without the generous support of RSPB members, supporters and the following organisations: Veolia Havering Riverside Trust, Veolia Mardyke Trust, Veolia ES UK (plc), Biffaward, City Bridge Trust, Homes and Communities Agency's Parklands Funding administered by Essex County Council, the EU’s Interreg IVA Two Seas Cross-Border Cooperation Programme, Defra's Countryside Stewardship Scheme, the Rose Foundation, Defra's Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund, Essex County Council, East of England Development Agency, Energy Savings Trust, Environment Agency, Fulham Heating, Heritage Lottery Fund, HSBC, Landfill Communities Fund of Waste Recycling Group Ltd (WRG) administered by the Environmental Body WREN, London Thames Gateway Development Corporation, Natural England, Rail Link Countryside Initiative, SITA Trust, South Essex Green Grid/Thames Gateway South Essex Partnership, Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation, Union Railways and Thurrock Council.

Click on the picture(s) below to see full size:

  • Expert Klaus Malling Olsen on Veolia’s landfill in Rainham Essex hosting the RSPB gull workshop

    Expert Klaus Malling Olsen on Veolia’s landfill in Rainham Essex hosting the RSPB gull workshop

  • A flock of gulls on Veolia’s Rainham landfill, Essex

    A flock of gulls on Veolia’s Rainham landfill, Essex


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Notes to the editor

We are committed to protecting the environment and improving the lives of the communities in which we operate and have been awarded a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development and received a Four Star rating in Business in the Community’s Corporate Responsibility Index for 2014.

Veolia is the global leader in optimised resource management. With over 200,000 employees* worldwide, the company designs and provides water, waste and energy management solutions that contribute to the sustainable development of communities and industries. Through its three complementary business activities, Veolia helps to develop access to resources, protect and conserve available resources, and to replenish them. In 2013, Veolia supplied 94 million people with drinking water and 62 million people with wastewater service, produced 86 million megawatt hours of energy and converted 38 million metric tons of waste into new materials and energy. Veolia (Paris Euronext: VIE and NYSE: VE) recorded revenue of €22.3 billion* in 2013.

(*) Excluding Transdev employees and revenue currently under divestment

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