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Organisation Reference London Lakes Project
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This information has been provided by the London Lakes Project and is supplied in its original format.

Over the last fifty years the environmental and amenity value of lakes in urban parks across Europe has been reduced by poor water quality and bank erosion. Lake quality has steadily declined as a result of increased pressures from human activity, pollution and the resulting imbalance in the ecology of the lakes.

Wandsworth Borough Council embarked on an ambitious programme of improvements to its parks and open spaces in 1993 but was hampered by the lack of technical information on how to tackle its decaying shallow urban lakes.

The Council received European Commission for LIFE funding for a three-year project entitled the London Lakes Rehabilitation Project. Three lakes of varying size, in Battersea Park, Tooting Common and King George’s Park, were chosen to demonstrate an approach to rehabilitation and management which could be applied throughout Europe. The Life project culminated in a successful European Conference in Battersea Park in 1997. Since then the project has won a number of awards.

Project objectives

    • Completion of the initial stages of physical rehabilitation of the three lakes, including the improvement of water quality, lake vegetation and bank areas;
    • The development of a land-use management model for urban lake areas which can subsequently be applied elsewhere;
    • Demonstration of the benefits of such a scheme to the public to gain their co-operation in the maintenance of environmental standards;
    • Encouragement of the rehabilitation of similar sites across Europe.

Achievements to date

Full details of actions taken and the evaluation of their effectiveness are available on the project’s Web site. Achievements include:

    • The provision of boreholes
    • Management of fish stocks
    • Introduction of a reed bed
    • Researching and managing waterfowl

Continuing activity

  • We continue to implement the good practice we discovered across further lakes in the borough through capital enhancement schemes.
  • We have ongoing water quality monitoring of the lakes in the borough which directly influences the pro-active management of, in particular, fish stocks and vegetation.
  • We are considering formulating a lakes management contract to encompass all lakes in the borough. This will draw together, in a structured way, all the ongoing monitoring and management of these areas and additionally may consider basin areas on our smaller rivers.
Dates Referenced August 2001
Contact Details Wandsworth Borough Council
Leisure and Amenity Services Department
Parks Division
The Town Hall
Wandsworth High Street
SW18 2PU
Tel: 020 8871 6368
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