Thames 21 publishes reed bed report


In 2010 Thames 21 visited the Cody Dock Reedbed, close to the mouth of the River Lea (UK), it was instantly clear what a wonderful place it was and how damaged it had become. In amongst the reeds it was beautiful and peaceful, but it was calf-deep in rubbish and Japanese Knotweed had grown across the reedbed, eating out its heart.

As part of the Love the Lea campaign,  Thames 21  commissioned a study into the use of  reedbeds along the Lee (or Lea) Navigation to improve water quality, boost the biodiversity value of the area and improve green space.


The independent report, funded by the Environment Agency, reveals huge potential for reedbeds on the river to boost biodiversity, reduce the effects of pollution and improve the area for social and amenity value within the lower Lee* Catchment. Reedbeds are regarded as one of the most important ecosystems on earth and are sometimes referred to as ‘the kidney of the landscape’ for their important role in filtering pollutants and maintaining fresh water health.




Room for the River as antidote to Europe’s flood woes


By Paul Brotherton

As part of a training course on river restoration sponsored by the RESTORE project, I recently visited the Waal River, a main branch of the Rhine River, flowing through the Netherlands. Here the Dutch are making ‘Room for the River’, restoring floodplains to reduce the risks of floods and creating benefits for people and nature. On the heels of recent catastrophic floods in Central Europe, this approach deserves a closer look if Europe is to meet many of its growing environmental and social policy challenges, including climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.


River restoration after June floods in Europe ?


Following  flooding across much of Europe in June the idea of integrating rivers back into their natural floodplains is being more widely discussed. An article in Spiegel Online looks at the effects of fthe flooding in Germany and asks whether governments are looking more seriously at river restoration.

A field near the town of Kamern, about 100 kilometers west of Berlin, before and after the flooding.

Photo: Spiegel Online

Environment Agency and Natural England to remain separate


Natural England and the Environment Agency will continue as separate entities but must undertake significant changes in the way they operate, Defra Secretary Owen Paterson has announced but they will be required to review their services and make further efficiences.