Pocket wetlands installed on Regent’s Canal
Baynes Street floating islands
If you go down to the woods today in Camley Street Natural Park, in the rather unexpected setting of King’s Cross, then you will be able to see the floating islands newly installed on the Regent’s Canal, creating pockets of urban wetland habitat for London’s wildlife.
“The islands will work like stepping stones, for wildlife to move along the waterway, allowing more life to flourish and improving the canal for the many people who enjoy using and visiting it,” explained Martin Thompson of The London Wildlife Trust responsible for the project.
These six new BioHavens, together with four on the Regent’s Canal at Baynes Street, make use of London’s water space to create concentrated wetland spaces to grow native plants and provide homes for water insects such as the dragonfly and damselfly, and for land-based beetles, butterflies and bees. Some islands will also accommodate roosting water birds, and all will give underwater shelter and feeding opportunities for fish and as an added bonus help clean the water too.
Richard Haine of frog environmental, the company involved in installing the platforms, reflecting on the recent transformation of King’s Cross, commented that, “From an industrial wasteland, the area is becoming an oasis for people and wildlife and nowhere is this more evident than along the Canal.”
Camley Street Natural Park is a good example of this regeneration and after you’ve seen the floating islands make time to visit its secluded woodland walks and environmental projects including the Floating Forest Garden planted in an old canal dredger – a style of gardening dating back thousands of years. In 32m2 it has over a hundred different types of plant, all growing delicious food.
For more information about the floating island project visit http://www.wildlondon.org.uk/wildlife-on-your-waterways