A new project is underway in Glade Lane Canalside Park in Southall to enhance biodiversity, reduce pollution and flood risk and make the park more enjoyable for residents.
The improvements, funded by the Mayor of London and in partnership with the Canal and River Trust and Peabody Housing Association, are part of Southall Wellbeing Way aiming to transform the area by creating new wildlife habitats, helping different plants and animals flourish, improved access to the towpath for pedestrians and cyclists, and making it flood resilient. There will also be fun and educational activities such as gardening.
The project will open up and improve part of Glade Lane Canalside Park.
As part of the works, surface water will be diverted from a pipe into a new winding water channel which will connect into ponds and wetlands to reduce flooding in wet weather and provide a home to a variety of wildlife.
This diversion will also help to reduce pollution by removing any pollutants before they enter the sewer system and eventually the River Brent.
New home for animals and plants
With wildlife in mind, brush and log piles from the area will be created to provide a habitat for amphibians and other species. And once complete, the water channels will also act as a corridor for amphibians to move between the various park ponds.
The gravelly subsoil found below the topsoil layer on the site will create butterfly and bee banks, providing plant cover and a place for insects to burrow into the surface.
The areas around the pond and water channel will be reseeded with new grass and wildflower meadows.
Residents can see the completed improvements in the autumn with exciting opportunities to observe and enjoy wildlife, learn more about the innovative sustainable drainage system and volunteer while children can make use of logs and stepping stones for play.
Councillor Peter Mason, leader of the council, said: “The improvements to Glade Lane Canalside Park are part of our commitment to secure the future of our beautiful green spaces. From the autumn people in Southall will have easier and quicker access to nature on their doorstep, whether they are getting on a bike or going for a walk.”
Councillor Deirdre Costigan, deputy leader and cabinet member for climate action said: “We want to protect residents from some of the results of climate change, such as increased wet weather and flooding, so at Glade Lane we are building seasonal ponds that will soak up flood water, as well as helping deliver on our promise to re-wild our borough. This project will protect and enhance our biodiversity, reduce pollution and flood risk in the area and make the park more enjoyable for residents. We can’t wait to welcome you to the improved Glade Lane Canalside Park really soon.”
More Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS)
SuDS are widely accepted as a better approach to managing rainfall than traditional drainage. They create beautiful spaces and places for people and wildlife, as well as reducing the risk of waterlogging, local flooding and water pollution. SuDS are already installed in Dean Gardens – the first project of its kind in London – with more coming up across the borough later this year.