The new nature spot at Queensbury Park, in Clifton Road, Harrow, was created as part of ongoing efforts to revive the park, which had suffered from years of decline.
It was made possible after the historic Kenton Brook, which is a tributary of the River Brent , was widened and diverted through the park, having been artificially constricted many years ago to make space for new homes.
The environmental charity Thames 21 has been working with Harrow Council , the Environment Agency and Thames Water, along with local residents, to restore the river and create the new wetland, which it hopes will attract a diverse range of wildlife.
Harrow mayor Krishna Suresh joined residents, volunteers and children from St Bernadette's School to officially open the wetland on Tuesday, May 17, with pupils celebrating the event by planting around 100 plants.
'Much-needed home for wildlife'
Thames 21 project officer Vicky D’Souza said the wetland would act as a natural defence against flooding in an area which is prone to inundations, by providing space for heavy rainfall to safely run off, as well as being a picturesque spot for people to stop and enjoy the nature on their doorstep.
"Many wetlands have been lost over the years, but they are such a crucial part of our environment," she said.
"Wetlands provide a much-needed home for wildlife such as dragonflies, aquatic life and plentiful bird species, yet they are also a vital part of the urban landscape.
"I'm delighted that this project's helped bring one of London's many unloved rivers back to life and got local people to appreciate it and assist in looking after it."
90% of England's wetlands lost since industrial revolution
England has lost as much as 90% of its wetlands since the industrial revolution, the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust estimates.
Thames 21 has organised clean-up events, planting sessions and wildlife walks at Queensbury Park over the last year, as well as running educational visits for local schoolchildren.
The work is part of a two-year project paid for by Thames Water's Community Investment Fund.
Councillor Graham Henson, Harrow Council's environment chief, said he hoped the new wetland would help make the park a popular place to relax, walk or enjoy a scenic view, as well as reducing the risk of flooding.
"I'd also like to say a big thanks to everyone who has been part of this restoration – including our fantastic volunteers," he added.
"I hope that residents and visitors enjoy their new wetland, discover new and diverse wildlife and enjoy the new water feature."
Similar environment projects planned elsewhere in Harrow
Similar nature improvement works are underway at Stanmore Marsh and are also planned at Newton Park and Headstone Manor.
A Picnic in the Park event to celebrate the new wetland at Queensbury Park will take place on Saturday, June 4, from 11am-2pm.
People are invited to bring a picnic and learn more about the wetland and how to get involved, with family fun activities, river dipping and the chance to explore the depths using an underwater camera on the day.
- For more information about events at the park and getting involved in the fledgling friends group, call Vicky D'Souza on 0782 7852 599 or email email@example.com.