The recent popularity of Kevin the Kingfisher reinforces the fact that E1W is an amazing place for both animals and people.
Just do it
So with no official permission, funding, authority or agreement from anyone Love Wapping is proud to declare the launch of the Wapping Wildlife Habitat.
A short walk along the canal will soon find you chatting to a complete stranger about the birds and the fish and how lucky residents of Wapping are to have such a unique piece of water like our canal.
Now have a look at the photos of Surrey Water in Southwark below.
Spot the difference? Lovely isn’t it? Seems like Southwark can do wonders with their water, so why can’t we?
Go look for yourself. Hop on the Overground to Rotherhithe, turn left and walk along five minutes to Surrey Water and walk up the canal there.
Our back garden, our heritage
Yes Wapping canal is ornamental, yes it’s not very big and it sure isn’t deep but for many East Enders it’s their back garden. Our back garden.
Wapping Ornamental Canal and Shadwell Basin are the last remnants of the unique urban landscape formed by the docks of London. It is our heritage.
Basic idea is to do in Wapping what others have done in other parts of London, positively protect and enhance the wildlife in Wapping. Low cost, everyone benefits.
The main focus should, in the opinion of the entire Love Wapping Wildlife Rangers (Ecosystem & Wildlife Habitat Division), be Wapping Ornamental canal and work out from there.
Over the last 18 months the Wapping Wildlife Rangers have been meeting and chatting to various people from Tower Hamlets Council and the Mayor of London’s Office (aka GLA). All of these people have been incredibly helpful and very positive as to the potential for the greening of Wapping.
Some simple first steps might be:
- Provision of new platforms for the birds along the canal
- Enhancement of the canal ecosystem with the location of appropriate vegetation and reed beds
- Engagement with the Tower Hamlets Local Biodiversity Action Plan
- Visiting other London wildlife habitats to see what other communities have done
Other things that could be done along the canal are the provision of a pocket park or two and disabled access to the canal, especially at Tobacco Dock.
Part of the London Dock development will be to open up north – south pedestrian access to the canal by punching a big hole in the big wall. Great idea and a great opportunity for residents to ensure that the London Dock – Wapping gateway is done in just the right way.
Oh and get our bridges sorted too. And a zillion other things. Like getting the lighting along the canal fixed.
The angling group over at Shadwell Basin have already started getting organised and getting things done over there, so this bit of Wapping needs to catch up.
This is a long term project. Improvements and benefits to both wildlife and people will only be seen over a period of years. All the schools in Wapping should be actively involved in the Wildlife Habitat and hopefully provide future recruits for the Wapping Wildlife Rangers.
For more information:
- Tower Hamlets Biodiversity Partnership
- London Natural History Society
- Friends of Mile End Park
- Canal and River Trust
- Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park
- GLA Pocket Parks Programme
- GLA Greening London
- London Wildlife Trust
- Urban Wild Project
- City of London Green Spaces (PDF download)
- Stave Hill Ecological Park Southwark
- Southwark Ecology