Thames Water’s flagship site is London’s biggest and newest wetland. It’s also a site of international importance and special scientific interest. So, we are really pleased to be working with Thames Water on tree planting projects here.
The ten reservoirs are a haven for the local community, being just 15 minutes from the centre of London, but also for overwintering wildfowl; such as the Grey Heron and Little Egret. Increasing the amount of the right trees and hedgerows is an important part of balancing nature reserve with a fully operational site. In fact, every day, Walthamstow Wetlands supply 3.5 million people with their drinking water!
In November 2020, we donated 730 saplings (or whips as they’re known), which have been planted alongside a pond. As the whips grow, it’s hoped the hedgerow will provide a habitat for nesting birds and some protection for Smooth Newts. The newts use hedgerows to find food; such as slugs and worms, and as a place to hibernate.
To protect the whips from pecking geese and the elements, we have also provided tree guards. The guards are 100% biodegradable, so will break down within 5 years, avoiding plastic sitting on the ground for years to come.
Becky Elliott, Thames Water’s ecologist, said: