Landscaping works around Ox-bow Island
You may have noticed some changes to the area around Ox-Bow Island since last December. We have previously shared the details of this work in newsletters, Ranger Drop- In Sessions, Ranger walk rounds, signage erected in the near vicinity, information on the Park’s Website and through emails sent to Councillors, local residents and the local usergroup. Through these media we explained how we are working with the Canal & River Trust and Thames 21 on a five year project to:
improve the habitat in and around the island
tackle vandalism, fly tipping, anti-social behaviour and non-native invasive species which are damaging existing habitats
create new reedbeds
improve access to the island
plant native wildflowers, trees and shrubs
install bat and bird boxes, deadwood piles for insects and reptiles
set up a trained working group of local volunteers to help look after this wildlife site.
Work began in mid-December 2019 when we began pruning some trees and removed 12 others, some of which were diseased and/or posed a healthy and safety risk to people accessing the project area. The works will also allow more light reach the ground in heavily shaded areas providing other trees and new planting with more water and space, enabling them to grow and flourish. We will be planting many more trees than we remove.
We'll also be enhancing habitats by planting a suitable mix of native trees, shrubs and other plants, including willows, birch and alders this winter and next autumn.
Other parts of the site will be improved, so you may see shrubs cut back and areas landscaped. This is so we can plant the native trees, shrubs and plants, which will attract wildlife and help it thrive.
The natural barrier of trees currently screening the car park and Lee Valley Ice Centre will return over a number of seasons as new trees mature.
Other activities which include the removal of an old construction fly-tip, re-profiling of some landscape areas, and the installation of a new footpaths and bridge(s) will allow safe access for visitors, volunteers and staff and will help to discourage anti-social behaviour on site.
Improvements will also be made to the various habitats that will help improve the channel’s water quality and appearance with a ’living boom’; a floating reedbed to stop litter flowing into the channel from the river, which in turn, will help reduce pollution. Work to increase the numbers of aquatic plants along the channel banks has already begun, with more work to be carried out in the near future.
This work will improve the Ox-Bow Island site, making it better for future generations and we appreciate your patience and understanding during this time.
Alternatively, call Ranger Services on 020 8988 7565.