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Context, Scope, and Objectives of the Baseline

Context and Scope

The PLA and berth operators regularly carry out maintenance dredging works within the River Thames. A proportion of these operations take place on berths or areas of the navigation channel that are in "close proximity" to areas designated under the Conservation (Natural Habitats etc) Regulations 1994, so-called Natura 2000 sites. The following page presents the information which establishes a baseline position for the Thames in respect of these specific dredging operations and these legally protected sites. Click on the links within the text to find out more information on each subject.

For this Draft Baseline close proximity has been defined, with the agreement of Natural England, as being a zone of 5 km radius around the identified dredging operations. The study area is therefore defined by the sites and corresponding buffer areas.


The objectives of this Baseline Document are as follows:

  • to synthesize relevant existing information about the environmental status of the study area and, in particular, what is known about the potential extent of impacts of previous capital and maintenance dredging undertaken by PLA and others;
  • to provide the data necessary to allow any maintenance dredging proposals for the River Thames to be assessed in accordance with Article 6(3) of the Habitat Directive and in line with the Draft Conservation Assessment Protocol on Maintenance Dredging and the Habitats Regulations 1994; and
  • to assist competent authorities in identifying "likely significant effect" in respect of future maintenance dredging applications or proposals.

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