BioHaven Creates New Wetland Habitat in Urban River

BioHaven Floating Islands creating a stunning effect on the river bank

BioHaven Floating Islands creating a stunning effect on the river bank

The Lower Duke of Northumberland River in South West London sits within the River Crane Catchment and carries water from Twickenham to the River Thames.

The waterway was artificially constructed as a mill stream in the 1500’s and remains an important feature of the Crane Catchment. However, the steep-sided, over widened concrete channels of the river are devoid of habitat in many places.

The Duke’s River Project, supported by the Mayor of London’s Big Green Fund aimed to connect 2 populations of water vole and to revitalise the access and environmental value of this link between the River Crane and the River Thames.

BioHaven Floating Islands were used as a method of delivering new native habitat and water treatment in this heavily urbanised watercourse. Peer reviewed data shows that BioHaven floating wetlands deliver many benefits associated with a conventional wetland in locations where conventional wetlands cannot be created.

Before and after the installation of the floating islands

Before and after the installation of the floating islands

The BioHaven installation, alongside more traditional methods such as pre-planted coir rolls has contributed to a great improvement in the ability of this stretch of river to support native plant species, connect habitats and improve the health of the waterway.

A water vole's eye view of the floating islands

A water vole’s eye view of the floating islands

The project was coordinated by Crane Valley Partnership with delivery managed by Wild Futures Outdoors Ltd in conjunction with The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) the Environment Agency and Friends of the River Crane (FORCE). The London Borough of Richmond supported the Dukes River Project with S106 funding.

This section of the Duke of Northumberland River, as seen from a water vole’s perspective shows how it has become a much more appealing place for people and native wildlife.

Urban rivers present significant restoration challenges in terms of Water Framework Directive. frog environmental is pleased to support the creation of new wetland habitat in urban areas using BioHaven Floating Islands.