Eighty new reed beds installed on Wapping canal

Wapping’s much loved ornamental canal is being spruced up today as eighty new floating redbeds are being installed along Vinegar Way. 

Chris, faithful steward of Wapping canal, in his natural habitat.

Our Wildlife Rangers first heard about the plans to improve the ecology of the canal back in September and it was a nice surprise to see Chris, the team from Bow Landscaping and specialist contractors hard at work this morning.

Coir (aka coconut) mats which containing the plants are attached to the flotation bases.

These are then loosely attached to the dock wall with chains.

The plants on the reed beds should grow quite quickly and with any luck Wapping canal should look much better and hopefully provide a better environment for everyone – especially the birds.

As our Wildlife Rangers have often commented one problem with Wapping canal is that because of the lack of natural nesting areas the resident swans tend to dominate the whole canal because they have ownership of the one decent nest.

And nobody with any sense messes with the swans.

It might be that over time more nesting will be created by other birds, the swans will not be quite so jealous and we might get a more diverse bird population along the canal.

However this is not going to happen overnight.

Mr Burns enjoying finest Tesco sprats on Wapping canal

The new reed beds are just the foundation for improvements to the canal, lots more work is needed.

The best approach might be for local people interested in helping the canal thrive to get together and get our hands dirty.

Colin Cormorant fishing on Wapping canal, Tower Hamlets, London, E1W.

LW has mentioned this before but, because we were (and still are) swamped by all the nonsense that passes for politics in east London, have not got anything going.

However we are not going to be providing a free running commentary and political analysis for ever (hint) and our Wildlife Rangers would much prefer to be searching for kingfishers than searching for corruption.


Apart from the birds there is a surprising variety of fish in the canal as well as eels and crabs (yes, crabs!).

Kevin Kingfisher hunting on the canal

Any Wapping residents interested in what is going on around the borough in terms of biodiversity should check out the Tower Hamlets biodiversity partnership site and sign up for their newsletter.

LW will get in touch with the biodiversity people, report back here, and if there is enough interest from people see how we can set up a local group to improve the canal and other green areas in Wapping.

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