Rewilding the Pymmes Brook in Enfield

Members of the Pymmes BrookERS group beside the River Lea in Tottenham

The Pymmes BrookERS are a group of Enfield residents working together with an aim to restore the Pymmes Brook and Salmons Brook, both tributaries of the River Lea. These rivers are all suffering from pollution, mainly from misconnected plumbing, sewage overflows and pollutants from roads.

With the help of Thames21, they are using environmental modelling software to map areas where wetlands and other greening initiatives can help trap pollution before it enters these rivers, and also reduce flooding. The group has identified 18 new spaces, which if installed, would radically transform the health of the Pymmes and Salmon’s Brooks.

The group is always happy to welcome new members so that both rivers become, in their words ‘cleaner, wilder and more fun!’

Firs Farm Wetland in Enfield has slashed the amount of chemicals entering the nearby river: reducing nitrates by 65%, ammonia by 69% and phosphates by 68%.

How do wetlands and reedbeds help with pollution?

  • Reedbeds oxygenate, helping aquatic creatures such as fish. During severe pollution incidents, oxygen levels in rivers crash. Reedbeds provide a safe place for fish to escape such incidents.
  • Reedbeds tackle pollution in water by converting toxic ammonia into nitrate, which is less harmful.
  • When it rains, pollution from roads and overloaded sewers can rush straight to our rivers. Wetlands and SuDS act like a sponge, soaking up floodwater and any pollutants, filtering and purifying these pollutants before they reach the river.

What else? 

  • They provide habitat for aquatic plants and creatures
  • Provide lovely spaces for everyone to enjoy
  • Can be used for pond dipping, outdoor classrooms and community events

What would you like your river to look like? 

The group wants to hear from you about what you would like to see more of in the Salmon’s and Pymmes Brooks. So far, ideas include:

  • More reeds, lilies, fish, frogs, butterflies, kingfishers and herons
  • Nature trails
  • Cleaner water
  • Places to play and paddle
  • Pond dipping spots
  • Areas for bird watching

Join the Pymmes Brookers!

Inspired? Email us or join them on Facebook.