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New Reedbeds Planned for Barnes Common

New Reedbeds Planned for Barnes Common

You may have noticed that the reedbed on Barnes Common is heaving with life right now as myriad male birds, including Black Caps, Chiff Chaffs, Great, Blue and Long-tailed Tits, Robins and the vocally brilliant, Schedule 1 listed Cetti’s Warblers are using it to attract females. Larger reedbeds, such as at The London Wetland Centre even have Bittern, another Schedule 1 listed species. The Common Reeds and other plants that are growing in it make for a very relaxing place to rest, too. However, did you know that reedbeds are a UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UKBAP) Priority habitat? Did you know that the Common Reed and the symbiotic bacteria that live on its rhizomes are capable of breaking down some pollutants? Did you also know that reedbeds can be a very important tool in reducing flooding and flood risk in an area?

Later this year, as part of the Community BlueScapes project, we will be creating two new reedbeds on Barnes Common to improve habitats for Cetti’s Warblers, other birds and hopefully, amphibians like frogs. Additionally, by connecting these reedbeds to the Beverley Brook, we will create refuge for young fish, too. As well as being beneficial for wildlife, the two new reedbeds will help absorb floodwater during exceptionally high tides and heavy rains, reducing flood risk in the area. The new features will have the additional benefit of enhancing spaces around Barnes to connect with nature and to chill out. The spoil created will be used elsewhere on the common to create a wildflower meadow.

If you would like to find out more then watch this space or visit the Community BlueScapes website. We will be hosting a drop-in session on Maisie’s Meadow in the near future and will share more details soon.

Working in partnership with the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames (LBRuT) and WWT (The charity for wetlands and wildlife), we have been awarded £6m from the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to increase flood resilience in the Beverley Brook’s catchment in Richmond and areas of Wandsworth. The Community BlueScapes project runs over 6 years and is part of the £200m Flood and Coastal Resilience and Innovation Programme, managed by the Environment Agency (EA). We were one of 25 programmes selected to drive innovation in flood and coastal resilience and adaptation to a changing climate, across the country. You can find more information about flood resilience here.