Built on reclaimed Thames marshlands, the Thamesmead area features 7km of canal and five major lakes, all owned and managed by Peabody. This network is part of a complex drainage system that protects local residents and businesses from flooding.
Pictured: Thamesmead Canal
The Habitat Enhancement Project
The Habitat Enhancement Project is a joint project run by Thames21, London’s leading waterways charity, and the London Wildlife Trust. The project works with communities in South East London to improve the canals and lakes in Thamesmead. It is funded by the Environment Agency, Greater London Authority, and supported by London Wildlife Trust and Peabody.
The project began in June 2017 and consists of adding habits for wildlife and to improve the look and feel of the area as a public space for residents.
Largely consisting of motivating volunteers to install reedbeds, the project also offers those participants free accredited training in how to maintain these natural habits for wildlife such as birds and fish and which act as natural filters for pollution going into the water.
The Enovert Canal Habitat Enhancement Project
This initial project in Thamesmead, begun in November 2016, runs alongside the Habitat Enhancement Project above. It is a partnership between Thames21 and Peabody, one of London’s oldest and largest housing providers. The project has the support of Peabody, the London Borough of Bexley and substantial funding from Enovert Community Trust (formerly The Cory Environmental Trust).
This project is enhancing the Thamesmead Canals, focusing on the Harrow Canal in Arnott Close and Crossway Canal in Crossway Park. This work is being achieved by creating more natural habitats along the canal edges, helping wildlife to flourish and improving the space for the local community to enjoy.
It is providing opportunities for volunteers to get directly involved and learn how to carry out activities to create and restore natural habitats.
The Canal section at Walsham Close
Education is a key part of the project. Local schools will be introduced to these outdoor surroundings as teaching tools linked to their curriculum learning. Youth groups will also be encouraged to use and take ownership of a unique loved part of Thamesmead’s landscape.
South view from the central footbridge at Crossways Park
Thamesmead’s canals and lakes are a valuable natural resource and defining feature for the area. Thames21 wants to ensure we involve as many local people in the care and improvement of these canals.
For further details about our projects in this area and to get involved, please email Emma Harrington.