Wandle Valley Living Landscape - London Wildlife Trust
The River Wandle is a unique south London chalk stream.
The Wandle has been identified as one of London’s five flagship rivers by the Environment Agency.
Once, this river teemed with wildlife including trout and otter, but by 1960 it was officially declared a sewer. Subsequently much-improved through active conservation effort, the Wandle now supports fish and other wildlife, but still flows through significant stretches of industry, residential areas and commercial centres.
This scheme aims to restore six kilometres of urban river habitat in the River Wandle catchment to create a thriving landscape that supports a rich variety of species and habitats, provides connectivity for people and wildlife, is adaptable to climate change and encourages access and enjoyment by people.
The Wandle Valley is a flagship urban river restoration project, demonstrating how partners can work together to restore a functional river corridor for people and wildlife.
Its value as a regional priority has been recognised by Natural England and the area has been proposed as a new regional park.
We have focused our recent efforts on habitat restoration in-stream and on our Wilderness Island nature reserve.
We are also developing a strategy for the future reintroduction of water vole.
Start date: 2008
Scheme area: 500 hectares
Trust reserves within the scheme
This scheme is helping species including...
Current threats to the landscape:
Habitat loss and fragmentation, pollution, climate change, inappropriate development, non-native species (e.g. mink, Chinese mitten crab).
This scheme is also...
Helping wildlife adapt to climate change, reducing flood risk, improving access for people, providing volunteering opportunities.
Natural England, Environment Agency, National Trust, local authorities, Groundwork, Wandle Trust, Thames 21, local angling groups.