An investigation has started after building materials containing asbestos was found in a nature reserve in Langdon.

The debris was found just off the route of Langdon Hills Nature Reserve on bank holiday Monday by Sam Harrison who was enjoying a walk around the site with his family.

As a construction health and safety manager the Hornchurch resident immediately spotted something was wrong and contacted the Essex Wildlife Trust who manage the nature reserve to alert of the issue near Second Avenue in the reserve. 

They say the issues was caused by the demolition of Dunton Plotlands an area of small rural plots of land in Dunton Wayletts which were knocked down in the 1980s.

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Mr Harrison said: “It is quite possible that this waste is left over from the demolition of the old buildings that used to sit on this land. However they have been gone a very long time.

“Whilst Asbestos is well known to be a dangerous material when broken down and inhaled as dust, where it is laying isn't necessarily dangerous however this land would need to be listed as Asbestos Contaminated Land unless it is professionally removed.”

He added: “A site billed as a place to bring young families it isn't a good look to have Asbestos just laying about and I would hope that Essex Wildlife Trust take this seriously.”

Mr Harrison said the trust have now contacted him for further details and these have been passed onto their health and safety team to look into.

The Trust said the most likely origin of the materials was from the Dunton Plotlands.

Echo: The material were found by Mr Harrison during a family walk on MondayThe material were found by Mr Harrison during a family walk on Monday

A spokesman for the trust said: “Over time the remains of the old Plotlands houses from the 1930s are pushed up from the ground and materials may become exposed.

“Essex Wildlife Trust conducted extensive surveys around the centre and car park during the re-build of the centre, and asbestos was removed by qualified contractors from the site.”

They added: “If a member of the public does find what they think is asbestos on the nature reserve, please report it to staff at the Langdon Nature Discovery Centre, where it can be cordoned off, inspected by qualified contractors and disposed of appropriately.”