Is Wapping canal dying?

The photograph below was taken this morning in Wapping canal. This is one of the Mirror Carp that can usually be seen swimming along the bottom of the canal.

This carp is dead and floating on the surface.

Dead Mirror Carp in Wapping Canal 30 April 2014
Dead Mirror Carp in Wapping Canal 30 April 2014

The question is what killed it?

Dead mirror carp

Our Wildlife Rangers cannot recall every seeing a dead carp floating on the surface of the canal like this.

And this at the same time as the canal is running dry in parts because of problems with the pumps that move the water. Coincidence?

The water in the canal is pumped up from an underground river about 70m underneath Wapping Woods. This is then circulated along the canal and out into the Thames.

Canal pump broken again

It was only last year that this pump was out of order for some time. Now it seems that it is out of action again due to an ‘electrical fault’ according to the numerous signs along the canal.

LBTH Green Team sign, Wapping Canal.
LBTH Green Team sign, Wapping Canal.


We want our canal fixed quick

It is nice to see the LBTH Green Team taking the time to put up lots of signs – but we want our canal fixed please. And quick!

Wapping canal is one of our many treasures and should be treated as such.

Mr Burns the Grey Heron

If the pump remains out of action any longer the risk that more wildlife like the mirror carp will die must increase? If the water does not circulate it will turn into one stagnant mess.

Apart from the carp there are lots of other fish in the canal and crabs as well. There is a whole ecosystem there which is now at risk. Mr Burns the Grey Heron may be enjoying the low levels of water but even he would want the water to be nice and fresh.

Also it is breeding season for the birds (more news on that soon) and they need good water.

Bad impression for visitors

In addition to the wildlife issue it is really sad when new visitors to Wapping – especially those who come to events at Tobacco Dock – look at our dried up canal and think it is always like this.

So whoever is responsible for getting the pump fixed in Tower Hamlets council please can you let us know what is going on? If you need help tell the community and we will pitch in.

LBTH Green Team sign, Wapping Canal.
LBTH Green Team sign, Wapping Canal.


Update 02 May 2014: As the birds have started breeding (see cygnets here) it is even more urgent for the canal water to run properly.

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