London Mayor funding to bring Bromley wetlands back to life

Volunteers will have the chance to help revitalise wetlands in Riverside Gardens, Bromley, for river wildlife thanks to a grant from the Mayor of London.

The Riverside Gardens Wetland Restoration project will be managed by the South East Rivers Trust (SERT) in partnership with the London Borough of Bromley and local community groups.

It aims to improve water quality and habitat in the headwaters of the River Cray, the prime chalk river of outer, south east Greater London which rises in Orpington.

Announced on Wednesday (13th March), the Bromley project is one of 21 that will receive a grant from the Rewild London Fund.

This is aimed at making the capital more resilient to climate change by improving 40 Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINCs).

Currently, this stretch of the river suffers from high sediment input which is detrimental to chalk streams and its wildlife, and the wetland is choked with scrub. The project, supported by the Mayor of London in partnership with the London Wildlife Trust, will reprofile the inlet channel and the online wetland and add a new sediment trap to prevent sediment being released downstream. This will increase the water quality and flow to support aquatic vegetation, fish and river invertebrates.

Part of the site for the Riverside Gardens project in Bromley

Volunteers will have the chance to plant up the reprofiled wetland, using a selection of native wetland plants.

Petra Sovic Davies, Senior Catchment Manager at SERT, said: “We are delighted to receive funding to help us restore the Riverside Gardens Wetland, especially as it will allow us to involve the local community. It is so vital that residents are involved in being given the chance to look after their local natural space. A thriving wetland not only acts as a magnet for wildlife but also provides a wonderful open space that people can enjoy and where they can learn about the natural world.”

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “This new rewilding funding will support the restoration of some amazing spaces in the capital, enabling Londoners to benefit from nature on their doorstep and help us to combat the impacts of climate change.

“I believe that all Londoners should be able to enjoy green spaces and that access to nature is a social justice issue. So I’m doing all I can to ensure that Londoners can enjoy wildlife wherever they are in the city.”

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