Residents finish off £170k improvement plan with 400 new wetland plants

Green-fingered residents planted more than 400 new wetland plants on Friday to mark the final stage of a £170,000 improvement plan to lakes in the area.

The planting sessions took place in and around Gallions Lake in Thamesmead, on behalf of Peabody by charity Thames 21, wetland designer Aquamaintain and the community.

The new species were specially selected by residents to help improve water quality and increase wildlife habitat. All species are native to Thamesmead and provide food, cover and habitat for a range of wildlife, while attracting pollinators like bees, birds and moths, as well as filter pollution. 

Residents and charity workers planting species native to Thamesmead in Gallions Lake on Friday (Picture: Peabody)

The chosen species include Forget-Me-Not, Pennyroyal, Yellow Iris and Dwarf Ragged Robin. 

The improvement programme began in November 2023. Peabody owns and manages five lakes and seven kilometres of canal network in Thamesmead. 

The newly-installed wetlands are made up of several new structures. They include one long mudbank and several smaller ones planted with various aquatic plants, as well as two floating wetlands which are almost seven metres long. 

From left, Toby Dighero from Thames21 Desiree Shepherd and Melinda Chukwuma from Peabody (Picture: Peabody)

Thames21 Engagement Officer, Toby Dighero, said: “What a brilliant achievement. A fantastic area for the local community to enjoy, as well as a safe home for wildlife. 

“The ‘icing-on-the-cake’ final phase of the project is to work with our volunteers to add plants around the wetland, which will help to act as a filter to improve the water quality of the lake and create a cleaner habitat for wildlife.”

An additional planting session with Heronsgate Primary School is set to take place at the lake in April, involving a scavenger hunt, planting and lessons about the wildlife, lakes and wetlands.

Pictured top: Miguel Sanabria and Samantha Dhedhi, from Thames21 charity, took part in the planting on Friday (Picture: Peabody)

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