As part of a programme of wildlife habitat improvements in the Royal Parks, Salix have been awarded a contract to create large floating wetland islands on the Serpentine Lake in London’s Hyde Park.
Salix will install 50 x 3.5 metre islands in the southern lake to clean the lake’s water naturally by creating an area where good bacteria can thrive, whilst providing erosion control and important new nesting areas for water birds, habitat and food for fish.
Made from recycled plastic bottles, the BioHaven floating island will be planted with native aquatic plants. BioHaven floating islands mimic the environmental benefits of wetlands in the natural world. They provide a healthy habitat for the whole aquatic food chain.
At the bottom of the chain, microscopic organisms will build up naturally becoming a biofilm on the surface of the islands, cleaning the water and providing food for the zooplankton. Micro and macro invertebrates like dragonfly nymphs and snails will also benefit and, further up the chain, so will food for the fish.
The island’s vegetation creates important nesting areas and feeding opportunities for insects like bees and butterflies, and water birds like coots, moorhens, grebes and swans.
BioHavens are new to the UK and this will be the first time they have been installed here. Over 5,000 BioHavens have already been successfully installed in lakes, reservoirs, docks, rivers and estuaries across the world.
Salix are leading the way in applying this innovative and sustainable freshwater technology in the UK.
Works will be completed by the end of March. Look out for updates in future newsletters!