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New scheme launched to rewild Thamesmead canals

PUBLISHED: 12:16 02 February 2018 | UPDATED: 10:12 07 February 2018

The scheme aims to rewild Thamesmead canals. Picture: Thames21

The scheme aims to rewild Thamesmead canals. Picture: Thames21

Archant

Thamesmead residents are being given the chance to create five new green nature spots along the area’s canals.

Approximately 200m2 of new reedbeds, an equivalent area to over seven London Routemaster buses, will be installed at five sites as part of the Habitat Enhancement Project, run by Thames21 and London Wildlife Trust.

Thames21, London’s leading waterways charity, is also offering residents the exciting opportunity to train to learn to look after the reedbeds as they grow and flourish.

Jess Becher, Thamesmead and River Cray Project Coordinator at Thames21, said: “When you’ve got a bunch of people together it’s really fun and easy to create a reedbed.

“Lots of people across London have loved helping make reedbeds on their stretch of river - so come on Thamesmead, let’s see if we can make ours the best.”

As a reward for signing up and helping to install the floating reedbeds, a prize draw will be held at each of the five sites on the day of installation, with some great prizes including Marks & Spencer vouchers and Elephant eco lunch boxes.

Petra Davies, manager of London Wildlife Trust’s Water for Wildlife project, said: “Impressive emperor dragonflies and secretive willow emerald damselflies are just some of the species our volunteers discovered on Thamesmead canals last summer.

“Floating reedbeds will attract more dragonflies and other invertebrates, and will encourage animals such as fish, wildfowl and kingfishers to return to the canals.”

The programme has received funding from the Mayor of London under the Greener City Fund.

Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “Communities are crying out for high quality green space in their local areas, and I have listened to their great ideas.

Whether it’s designing a new garden, planting trees or greening school playgrounds, these projects will transform local spaces, improve health and wellbeing and help clean up our toxic air – and young Londoners are getting involved too.”

The first of several free accredited training days will take place later in the Spring, at Tump 53 nature reserve, near Hawksmoor School.

Training can be booked via the same page: https://www.thames21.org.uk/build-a-reedbed.

Residents have until March 16 to sign up.

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