Spring into action at Welsh Harp Reservoir

Monday 12th February 2018

credit Roy Beddardcredit Roy Beddard

Volunteers needed to help clean up the Welsh Harp for nature and wildlife

Welsh Harp Reservoir is an important area for wildlife in north-west London. The much-loved nature reserve hosts a diverse range of habitats, including open water, marsh, reedbeds, woodland and meadows, bordered by a complex of playing fields, allotments and other greenspaces. Its value to wildlife is recognised by its designation as a Site of Special Scientific Interest – one of only 37 in London.

Our aim is to remove enough litter to give the wonderful wildlife of Welsh Harp a hassle-free spring season

At this time of year, an exotic water bird, the great crested grebe, performs amazing courtship dances on the reservoir, as they prepare to nest in the shallows of the reservoir. Other frequent visitors are common tern, cormorants, and grey heron. In the warmer months, dragonflies and damselflies can be seen darting along the freshwater edges, while during the evening a variety of bat species such as common pipistrelle and Daubenton’s swoop over the water.

Welsh Harp is a popular place for people to visit, for strolling, picnics, and boating activities. However, litter is a persistent problem which, if left untackled, threatens the future of this special wildlife habitat. As part of an ongoing project to protect and enhance the reservoir and its surrounding woodland, London Wildlife Trust is hosting a spring clean event on Saturday 24th February, with members of the local community encouraged to get involved.

Catherine Cullen, Welsh Harp Development Officer for London Wildlife Trust, said: “Everyone is welcome to join us at the reservoir for an action-packed day in the fresh open air. Many hands make light work so the more people who come, the easier it will be! Our aim is to remove enough litter to give the wonderful wildlife of Welsh Harp a hassle-free spring season. I look forward to seeing you all there.”

The spring clean is being held in conjunction with other groups working to protect Welsh Harp Reservoir, including Canal & River Trust, Phoenix Canoe Club, Thames21, and Friends of the Welsh Harp. The work is supported by Barnet Council and Barratt Homes. To join the event email ccullen@wildlondon.org.uk

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