New wetland boosts Greater London’s natural spaces

Queensbury Park in Harrow has been undergoing something of a transformation over the last two years. On Tuesday, the new wetland was officially opened by the Mayor of Harrow, residents, volunteers and St Bernadette’s school. Pupils planted around 100 plants by the Kenton Brook. Dermot Carlin

The wetland is now an important milestone in the development of green and blue spaces in urban London. Thanks to joint work between Harrow Council, Thames 21, Thames Water’s Community Investment Fund, and the Environment Agency restoration works have helped transform the land into a wetland with an attractive park for residents and visitors alike to enjoy, all in time for summer!

Following two years construction and landscaping, the new park and wetlands now include restoration of the Kenton Brook and flood storage. The wetland also offers a haven for  biodiversity.

Vicky D’Souza, Project Officer at Thames21 said: “This new wetland in Harrow is a big win for London’s wildlife and communities. Many wetlands have been lost over the years, but they are such a crucial part of our environment.  Wetlands provide a much-needed home for wildlife such as dragonflies, aquatic life and plentiful bird species, yet they are also a vital part of the urban landscape.

She continued: “It has been a pleasure to witness the transformation of this landscape at Queensbury Park. We must appreciate the role wetlands play in our everyday lives by taking pride in and appreciating this new space here in Harrow for generations to come.”

It is estimated that England has lost as much as 90% of its wetlands since the Industrial Revolution [source Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust], making the opening of this wetland in the heart of Greater London, something very special.

vicky wetland
Thames21’s Vicky D’Souza shows off the new London wetland

Portfolio holder for environment, Cllr Graham Henson said: “Like our residents, we value our parks and open spaces and we are pleased to be bringing back unused open space for everyone to use and enjoy. It’s great that the new wetland in Queensbury Park is now officially open in time for summer. Not only is it a place to relax, walk or enjoy a scenic view, but it will also help prevent flooding in the areas. Thanks to Thames 21, local schools can also learn about the environment through Thames 21’s educational programme.

“I’d also like to say a big thanks to everyone who has been part of this restoration – including our fantastic volunteers. I hope that residents and visitors enjoy their new wetland, discover new and diverse wildlife and enjoy the new water feature.”

Thames21, whose work in the area has been funded by Thames Water Community Investment Fund, has also been working closely with the council to connect locals to this new wetland. With a mission to put healthy rivers at the heart of community life, Thames21 has offered Harrow residents the chance to get involved with practical volunteering, community training, fun events and a free curriculum linked-programme for schools.

Rosemary Waugh, Thames Water’s Corporate Responsibility Manager said: “Through working with trusted partners like Thames21, our community investment programme engages communities with their local environment whilst enhancing it. This project

Youngsters get engaged with the new wetland and learn more about how what they planted will prevent flooding and pollution near their school
Youngsters get engaged with the new wetland and learn more about how what they planted will prevent flooding and pollution near their school

successfully demonstrates this and we are delighted with the results.”

Similar works are also being carried out at Stanmore Marsh and proposals are in place to do similar projects at Newton Park and Headstone Manor. These are part of the council’s plans to improve the borough’s open spaces. The plans include nature and woodland trails, and tree-lined walks suitable for everyone. School students can take part in pond and stream dipping, water testing and discover the natural life-cycle.  These transformations also encourage healthier living by creating an attractive, accessible and environmentally friendly green space for walking.


Notes to Editors

About Thames21

Thames21 is an environmental charity putting healthy rivers back at the heart of community life in London. Thames21 does this through community engagement, and programmes related to education, environmental enhancements, research and advocacy. | Registered Charity No. 1103997
Stanmore Marshes and Queensbury Park Community & Education Project:

Stanmore Marsh and Queensbury Park, Harrow HA7 are currently undergoing river restoration. These works will transform local green spaces into vibrant habitats for wildlife with fantastic outdoor spaces for the public to enjoy.

Thames21 is working in partnership with Harrow Council. Thames21 is delivering a 2 year project to work with local schools and the community to encourage and support Stanmore Marsh & Queensbury Park as outdoor education venues, places to use, enjoy and help continue to improve.