Woodberry Wetlands from the air

Salix is helping the London Wildlife Trust to create a new nature reserve on the site of Thames Water’s East Reservoir in Stoke Newington.

As part of the Woodberry Wetlands project, Salix will dredge silt from the reservoir to create 13,000 square metres of new reedbed, more than doubling this important habitat for east London’s wildlife.

Silt will be scooped up using our specialist Truxor amphibious lake de-silting machine and placed behind carefully constructed submerged fences made of hazel and chestnut, to create a series of new islands and ponds, connected by channels of different depths.

The site, which has been closed to the public since its construction in 1833, is already important for nature, with waterfowl such as pochard, shoveler and gadwall visiting the site. Grey heron, tufted duck, reed bunting and other wetland birds also live there, along with kingfishers, damselflies, dragonflies, amphibians and bats.

The extension of the reed beds will increase the numbers of reed bunting and reed warbler breeding at the site, and will provide important extra habitat for overwintering bittern, one of the UK’s rarest breeding birds.

David Mooney, London Wildlife Trust’s East London Development Manager, says:

“As Woodberry Wetlands develops it will become increasingly important for both wildlife and people seeking nature and tranquillity in the midst of a hectic city.

“Using the silt that has built up naturally in the reservoir, we will create a network of interconnecting wildlife habitats, providing a fascinating window on nature for school groups and other visitors.”

Work to create the new Woodberry Wetlands reserve has been funded with £39,500 from the Veolia Environment Trust, awarded through the Landfill Communities Fund.

The lake de-silting and reed bed construction work is expected to be completed by the end of March.

Planting will take place over the summer, with local volunteers helping to plant new reed shoots grown at Salix’s wetland plant nursery in Croxton, near Thetford.

A new visitor centre and walkways will open this summer, allow free public access to large parts of the site for the first time.

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