Establishing a Nature reserve in an old dock

Canada Water is a rare fresh water dock. This project involved the restoration of the water ecology which had been damaged by a toxic spill during nearby construction. Water ecologists monitored the water quality as it gradually returned to a natural equilibrium. Along one side of the dock, a series of small islands were created. Water was fed from the chalk aquifer into the dock to keep it topped up with fresh water. The planting scheme is deliberately minimal, using only native species and leaving space for natural regeneration. No topsoil or peat were used in the planting scheme. Waterfowl took to it enthusiastically with swans and coots returning and nesting in the first year. Herons and many other birds have been seen in the habitat, which is a valuable wildlife oasis in a dense urban location.