New habitat creation project

New habitat creation project

Last winter, during the heavy rainfall events, we experienced flooding along the main access routes of Walthamstow Wetlands. As a result, Thames Water have commissioned Maydencroft Limited to help us deliver a sustainable solution to the drainage challenge whilst mutually benefitting the wildlife on site. Thames Water have engaged with London Wildlife Trust, Natural England, Environment Agency, and Thames Water’s Operations and Water Quality teams to help develop the project.

Engine House at Walthamstow Wetlands

tansy view at walthamstow wetlands

The first part of the project is due to start on site in the New Year. It will involve creating a designated ‘passing point’ for operational vehicles behind the education area, which will prevent damage to the more sensitive habitats on site. We will also be installing soakaways in strategic locations along the access route, which will allow natural perforation through the soil during periods of heavy rainfall.

 

The second part of the project, taking place in the meadow adjacent to the East Warwick Reservoir, will involve the creation of three ponds of different shapes and sizes, which will be connected with scrapes. The ponds will be planted with pond-edge plant species, such as native sedges and reeds, and marginal pond plants, such as water mint and brooklime.

Thames Water’s ecologist will be present on site to undertake a watching brief while the vegetation is removed.  We have agreed with Natural England that this part of the project will take place during the winter to prevent impacting nesting birds and will avoid disturbance to the overwintering bird populations on the reservoirs.  

islands at Walthamstow Wetlands

 

Grey Heron at Walthamstow Wetlands

Additional native scrub planting will also take place in early spring to help screen foraging birds in the ruderal habitat against disturbance, followed by the spreading of wildflower meadow seed.

We hope you are excited to see this project develop in the New Year and look forward to welcoming additional wetland habitat to Walthamstow, which we hope will become a breeding ground for aquatic invertebrates and amphibians next spring.