Trees for rivers: a new woodland for London

Thames21 is working in partnership with Enfield Council to regenerate the former Royal hunting ground of Enfield Chase in the Salmon’s Brook catchment, part of the greater river Lea catchment. Restoring the tree cover will not only cut flood risk for businesses and homes downstream – it will boost the health of the Salmon’s Brook, too.

Rewilding a degraded landscape

The area was deforested more than two hundred years ago and is now mainly arable fields and some grazed pasture. Despite the best efforts and intentions, some conventional farming practices result in soil and nutrient erosion that flows into the local watercourses, threatening aquatic life. Drainage systems and straightened watercourses have encouraged water to move swiftly off the land and into the river, increasing flood risk to thousands of homes and businesses downstream.

Working with the local farmers, the Forestry Commission, and a woodland design consultant, areas have been identified where tree planting can slash flood risk and improve water quality.

A hydrological model calculating the angle of field slopes, soil type, and infiltration rate will guide targeted planting, starting this autumn, to deliver the greatest benefits. By combining areas of mixed density native tree planting with areas of natural regeneration, meadows, ponds, and swales, we aim to create a rich and diverse ecosystem.

Our plans to increase tree cover in Enfield

Building London’s resilience

This huge new area of high quality green-blue space will benefit thousands of urban residents, as well as attracting and protecting wildlife. The diverse ecosystem, combined with natural flood management measures holding and slowing water flow further up the catchment, makes the landscape more resilient to drought and high rainfall events, which are increasing in frequency and severity due to climate change.

Photo taken at the site in December 2020

How to join London’s largest reforestation project:

  • With your workplace: corporate volunteering events are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays every week (daily during National Tree Week) Book now: 
  • As an individual, family, friend or community group: Community volunteering events are held every 1st and 3rd Saturday from November 2020 to March 2021. 
  • Booking is essential as places are limited. Check out a date below that suits you, or see our calendar here

Saturday 16th January – Location to be confirmed (cancelled)
Saturday 6th February – Location to be confirmed (cancelled)
Half term Tuesday 16th February – Location to be confirmed (cancelled)
Half term Thursday 18th February – Location to be confirmed (cancelled)
Saturday 20th February – Location to be confirmed (cancelled)
Saturday 6th March – Location to be confirmed (cancelled)
Saturday 20th March – Location to be confirmed (cancelled)

Questions about community tree planting? Email: