New wetland in Harrow boosts natural spaces in Greater London

Queensbury Park has been undergoing something of a transformation over the last two years.

On Tuesday, the new wetland was officially opened by the Mayor of Harrow, residents, volunteers and St Bernadette’s school. Pupils planted around 100 plants by the Kenton Brook. 

The wetland is now an important milestone in the development of green and blue spaces in urban London. Thanks to joint work between Harrow Council, Thames 21, Thames Water’s Community Investment Fund, and the Environmental Agency restoration works have helped transform the land into a wetland with an attractive park for residents and visitors alike to enjoy, all in time for summer!

Following two years construction and landscaping, the new park and wetlands now include restoration of the Kenton Brook and flood storage. The wetland also offers a haven for biodiversity. 

Portfolio holder for environment, Cllr Graham Henson said:

"Like our residents, we value our parks and open spaces and we are pleased to be bringing back unused open space for everyone to use and enjoy. It’s great that the new wetland in Queensbury Park is now officially open in time for summer. Not only is it a place to relax, walk or enjoy a scenic view, but it will also help prevent flooding in the areas. Thanks to Thames 21, local schools can also learn about the environment through Thames 21’s educational programme.

I’d also like to say a big thanks to everyone who has been part of this restoration – including our fantastic volunteers. I hope that residents and visitors enjoy their new wetland, discover new and diverse wildlife and enjoy the new water feature.”  

It is estimated that England has lost as much as 90% of its wetlands since the Industrial Revolution [source Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust], making the opening of this wetland in the heart of Greater London, something very special.

Vicky D’Souza, Project Officer at Thames21 said:

“This new wetland in Harrow is a big win for London’s wildlife and communities. Many wetlands have been lost over the years, but they are such a crucial part of our environment.  Wetlands provide a much-needed home for wildlife such as dragonflies, aquatic life and plentiful bird species, yet they are also a vital part of the urban landscape.

It has been a pleasure to witness the transformation of this landscape at Queensbury Park. We must appreciate the role wetlands play in our everyday lives by taking pride in and appreciating this new space here in Harrow for generations to come.” 

Thames21, whose work in the area has been funded by Thames Water Community Investment Fund, has also been working closely with the council to connect locals to this new wetland. With a mission to put healthy rivers at the heart of community life, Thames21 has offered Harrow residents the chance to get involved with practical volunteering, community training, fun events and a free curriculum linked-programme for schools.

Rosemary Waugh, Thames Water’s Corporate Responsibility Manager said:

“Through working with trusted partners like Thames21, our community investment programme engages communities with their local environment whilst enhancing it. This project successfully demonstrates this and we are delighted with the results.”

Similar works are also being carried out at Stanmore Marsh and proposals are in place to do similar projects at Newton Park and Headstone Manor. These are part of the council’s plans to improve the borough’s open spaces. The plans include nature and woodland trails, and tree-lined walks suitable for everyone. School pupils can take part in pond and stream dipping, water testing and discover the natural lifecycle.  The transformations also encourage healthier living by creating an attractive, accessible and environmentally friendly green space for walking.