There is no doubt that we are going through a massive and positive paradigm shift. It is finally hitting home that human activities thoroughly depend on the health of the natural environment and the sustainability of the many services it provides. The natural environment has rapidly moved from the periphery to the very centre of conversations, with action on fundamental issues from our own well-being to agriculture and the economy.
Humans are an increasingly urban species, although a major consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic is how we have come to realise the importance on being in contact with Nature, and how Nature can provide us with many solutions to the problems we create.
One of those problems is road runoff. Most of us are highly dependent upon cars or other vehicles and the massive road network carved into our catchments, to get us or the goods we buy from one place to another.
The Central Park/ Acacia Hall River Restoration Project took a massive step forward at the end of March, writes Sam Hughes.
On Thursday 25th March 2021, after months of delay because of the pandemic, the (rather ugly but essential) cofferdams were removed from the upstream and downstream ends of the project area, and flow was returned to the restored western channel of the Darent that runs through Central Park then past the redeveloped Acacia Hall.
I can’t tell you how excited the SERT team is about this, after more than three years of hard and very muddy work!
Having completed most of the river works on the River Darent in Central Park, Dartford in January 2020, we now have a bit of time to tell you what we got up to!
The River Darent splits immediately upstream of Dartford Central Park.
The western channel meanders through the park and past Acacia Hall weir before disappearing under an old ballroom building and the A226 before continuing through Dartford Town Centre. The eastern channel acts as flood relief channel and, prior to the restoration project, took the majority of low to medium flows.