Sun will shine on stream thanks to Mayor of London

James Cracknell

Money from Mayor’s Greener City Fund will help reduce water pollution at Barnet nature reserve

London Wildlife Trust has been awarded tens of thousands of pounds to help uncover a culverted stream at its Oak Hill Wood nature reserve in Barnet, thanks to a new fund set up by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

The work will not only improve water quality and reduce flood risk, but also create a wonderful habitat

The Trust will be working in partnership with the Environment Agency to restore a 200m section of stream that feeds into Pymmes Brook in Oak Hill Park, helping reduce flood risk and enhance biodiversity. By opening up a culvert and creating a new ditch line planted with reeds and other wetland plants, water that runs off from surrounding residential areas will be filtered before it enters the river. This will greatly improve the water quality, as well as providing new habitats for birds, invertebrates and amphibians.

The project is among the first to be granted money from the new £9million Greener City Fund, which supports improvements to green spaces, tree planting, and habitat restoration. The total cost is £100,000; half will be funded by the Greener City Fund, with match-funding from Defra and the Environment Agency.

Tom Hayward, Reserves Manager for London Wildlife Trust, said: “We’re delighted to be among the first recipients from this new fund set up by the Mayor of London. The money will enable us to tackle a long-running problem at Oak Hill Wood, where a culverted stream is often polluted and floods Oak Hill Park. The work will not only improve water quality and reduce flood risk, but also create a wonderful habitat and water feature for visitors to both the park and nature reserve. If you’d like to be involved, please get in touch.”

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Communities are crying out for high-quality green space in their local areas, and I have listened to their great ideas. Whether it’s designing a new garden, planting trees or greening school playgrounds, these projects will transform local spaces, improve health and wellbeing and help clean up our toxic air – and young Londoners are getting involved too. I want London to become the UK’s first National Park City, with more than half the capital green by 2050 – and we’re already delivering. It’s vital that, as our capital continues to grow, all Londoners have access to open, green areas, and these projects will help make our city a greener, healthier place to live.”

Work gets underway this spring and is due to finish by the end of the year. If you would like to help shape the project and sign up for volunteering, email Tom Hayward: