Unique wildlife and wetlands space opens in Enfield Lock

A new wetland project at the Prince of Wales open space was officially opened on Thursday (27 September), where the huge efforts and hard work of the community were recognised and applauded.

The Prince of Wales wetlands were created by Enfield Council with the help of project partners at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, Thames Water via the Thames Water Community Investment Fund, volunteers, and with a contribution from the Greater London Authority’s Greener City Fund.

The wetlands will help to prevent flooding of nearby homes, improve water quality and will enhance biodiversity and at the same time will provide a nature reserve and outdoor learning space for the whole community to use.

Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Guney Dogan, said: “The transformation here has been absolutely amazing. Two years ago the open space was secluded, underused and lacking in personality. Now it is a beautiful and accessible park which will not only enhance the area and help to bring the community together but will also serve as an important area for education and learning.

“I would like to thank all the project partners but I would especially like to recognise the help and support of the students at Prince of Wales Primary School and volunteers who have given their time to make this project come to life.”

Since excavation works were completed in November last year, volunteers, engineers and wildlife experts have been working hard to get the open space ready for use. In January alone, more than 1,000 tree whips were planted and will eventually grow into a woodland within an urban setting. By the coming spring, there will be a carpet of colour across the wetlands, with yellow irises and flowering rush/purple loosestrife in full bloom. Wildlife-friendly open water, part of a new sustainable drainage system, will reduce flood risk while attracting local wildlife. Enfield Council has introduced pathways and bridges to help visitors get closer to nature and to provide better views of the Turkey Brook river.

Andy Graham, Head of Community Wetlands at WWT, said: “With the help of local schoolchildren, we decided to give the Prince of Wales Open Space the Cinderella treatment so that the 16,500 residents in the area have an attractive outdoor space where they can soak up nature."

Rosemary Waugh, corporate responsibility manager at Thames Water, said: “At Thames we know we’re custodians of the environment and were delighted to fund the Prince of Wales Wetlands project. Our community investment fund is for projects that both engage our customers and enhance the environment, delivered by trusted partners, the team have done a wonderful job on achieving the outcomes of the project.”

‚ÄčThis open space would not work without the support and help of the community. If you would like to get involved, please contact Enfield Council so the wetlands can be enjoyed for many years to come.

Access to the wetlands is via Aldridge Avenue, EN3 6JA. A map can be seen here.

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