Work well underway on new Wandle Delta eco-project

Published: 14 October 2016

Work is now well underway on a major new eco-project to support aquatic life in the mouth of the River Wandle.

The council is removing layers of contaminated sediment that have built up in the Wandle delta over the past quarter of a century.

The project also includes the removal of a tidal weir to improve water flows in this stretch of the Wandle close to where it joins the Thames.

Improving water flows and removing sludge and silt to expose the gravel river bed will help restore a wildlife habitat measuring roughly a hectare in size that has the potential to become a spawning area and nursery for young fish.

The project, which is scheduled to be completed by the end of March 2017, is being funded by Thames Water as part of its work to improve water quality, restore lost wildlife habitats and offset the impact of its Thames Tideway Tunnel. The scheme is also supported by The Environment Agency, the Marine Management Organisation and the Port of London Authority.

The council’s environment spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook, who was shown progress of the scheme earlier this week said: “This is an exciting eco-project that's designed to breathe new life into the Wandle.

“Removing the sludge and silt that has built up over the years and allowing the water to flow much more freely will hopefully restore a thriving habitat for fish and other aquatic wildlife. It will also encourage a much wider range of plant life to flourish in the river again.

“We are delighted to be working alongside Thames Water and other partners to revitalise this important aquatic eco-system.”