An exciting new project to restore the health of the lakes, wildlife pond and wetlands in Broomfield Park in Palmers Green has won the backing of the Environment Agency.
An agreement was signed to commission an ecologist to produce an environmental audit and an enhancement strategy to increase biodiversity and water quality. MK Associates will be undertaking this work and reporting back towards the end of the year.
Elena Phrydas, who represents the work around the lakes on the committee of Friends of Broomfield Park added “So many of us care deeply for our local park and the creatures that live there but we need expertise on the next steps to look after this environment. This will bridge that gap.”
“We are delighted to support this project” said Lewis Elmes for the Environment Agency “It is a great example of a community caring about and wanting to improve the local environment by taking thoughtful and determined action, based on science.”
Next Spring the follow up aim will be for teams of volunteers to start to test water quality in all the watercourses and for new planting to help improve water quality and provide natural food for birds and other wildlife.
“This will be a great example of citizen science in action to help clean the waters that are so vital to our local and global environment” said Jenny Edwards, who founded the Lakes Action Team.
Friends of Broomfield Park have a Lakes Action Team, which has been working energetically to improve the quality of the water courses in the park by removing visible pollution. Huge amounts of plastic litter and large items, such shopping trollies, traffic cones, bikes and chairs which accumulated over many years, have been pulled out of the lakes.
As the lakes have improved, blooms of Daphne and sightings of sticklebacks are a welcomed sight. There has been an increase in ducks and geese successfully raising their families. Since last year a family of swans have nested in the park for the first time in living memory and have become local celebrities and are attracting visitors.
However, there remain problems with water quality, with high levels of phosphates and nitrates as well as occasional suspected sewage contamination. Algal blooms occur and, in some years, duckweed has completely blanketed the lakes. Studies have found high levels of road runoff pollutants from Alderman’s Hill traffic.
Cabinet Member for Environment at Enfield Council, Cllr Rick Jewell, said: “The Council is pleased to play an integral part in the project to help improve water quality and biodiversity within Broomfield Park.
“By having a member of the Watercourses Team from the Council on the project board, we are able to provide invaluable help, support, and advice to members of the Friends of Broomfield Park. We also provide specialist knowledge on the park’s watercourses including the three lakes and the wetlands.”
The Enfield Green and Blue Strategy (2020) lists Broomfield Park as one of the three areas in the borough with the potential to upgrade to a Borough Grade Site of Importance for Nature Conservation, with key significance for wildlife in Enfield.
The project is being managed by a Project Board which includes the Environment Agency, Enfield Council, Thames Water, Thames 21 and of course Friends of Broomfield Park.