The River Brent catchment
From its headwaters on the Harrow Weald and High Barnet, to the lowland reaches of Hounslow and the Grand Union Canal, meandering through the boroughs of Brent and Ealing, the River Brent captures and transports rainfall and surface waters from around 70 square miles (175 km2) along more than 50 miles of main river and many further miles of minor waterways, some of which have become lost rivers where tributaries have been buried underground.
Altogether, the river Brent catchment extends across five adjacent boroughs in North West London before its combined waters join the tidal River Thames at Brentford.
The River Brent Catchment Partnership
The River Brent Catchment Partnership or BCP represents a group of organisations working together to make the rivers and streams, lakes and canals of the River Brent catchment cleaner, more accessible and more attractive, to benefit both local communities and wildlife.
Taking a Catchment Based Approach our overall ambition is for catchment-wide thinking with local action as we work towards our vision to:
Promote awareness and understanding of the potential of the River Brent corridor to contribute to the social, environmental, and economic wellbeing of local people.
Members of the Brent Catchment Partnership, including local authorities, NGOs, water companies, government agencies, local community groups, businesses, academia and more, have been meeting regularly since 2010 to help deliver the objectives of the Brent Rivers Action Plan.
Prioritising an inclusive, evidence-based, ‘grass roots’ approach means that decision-making can involve local stakeholders: individuals, groups and organisations who are most affected by the outcomes of improvements to their local water environment.
How we work together
The BCP network provides a forum where members can share information and build knowledge about sustainable water and river management and identify opportunities to improve local river sites across the whole Brent catchment.
The BCP steering group meets regularly throughout the year to work together proactively, bringing together ideas and energy guided by a strategic agreement.
Smaller action groups also meet to focus on key themes of the Brent River Action Plan including water quality, biodiversity and habitat improvements.
At our recent ‘Biodiversity on the Brent’ Special Meeting, partner organisations and local groups presented an informative and fascinating series of talks about the wonderful aquatic and water-dependent wildlife that lives in, on and around the river Brent catchment. A group discussion identified the ‘Big 5 for the Brent’ as the keystone species that highlight the importance of working towards a healthier and more resilient aquatic ecosystem.
We’ll be sharing the talks below during London Rivers Week to celebrate Biodiversity 2020 and hosting them online on our new storymap platfom (coming soon!) for all to enjoy and to inspire and connect current and future generations to your river Brent.
Projects being delivered by partner organisations within the catchment include:
- Natural flood management on the Silk Stream headwaters in Harrow (led by Thames21 with funding from by Defra)
- Restoring Brent Rivers and Communities (led by Thames21 with funding from Greggs Foundation)
- Greenford to Gurnell Greenway (led by Ealing Council and funded by the London Mayor’s Greener Capital Grant)
- Quainton Open Space (led by Thames21 and funded by London Mayor’s Greener City Fund)
- Boston Manor Park (led by Hounslow council and funded by London Mayor’s Greener City Fund)
The Brent Catchment Partnership network
.Some of the key catchment partners are:
- All London Green Grid
- Brent Rivers and Canals Society
- Canal and River Trust
- The Environment Agency
- The Greater London Authority
- Harrow Nature Conservation Forum
- London Borough of Harrow
- London Borough of Barnet
- London Borough of Brent
- London Borough of Ealing
- London Borough of Hounslow
- London Wildlife Trust
- Natural England
- Thames Water
If you would like to get involved with the river Brent, have questions or project ideas we’d love to hear from you. Contact Lucy Shuker