Work to deliver new Wandle Delta nature reserve nears completion

Published: 9 March 2017

An eco-project to provide a major new aquatic habitat in the mouth of the River Wandle is nearing completion and should be unveiled by the end of the month.

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.

A team of divers is currently removing the last remnants of the weir and are on course to complete the task within the next two to three weeks.

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 council’s environment spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook said: “We are nearing the final stages of this exciting eco-project that will 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.”

The project 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.