Harrow Council is set to kick off the “Action for Silk Stream” initiative with a River Action Day at Chandos Park. Scheduled for tomorrow (21 December), the event aims to prepare the site for the arrival of diggers in the spring, which will be used to move the channel of the Silk Stream. The project is part of a broader, six-year flood resilience initiative launched in 2021.
Volunteers are invited to join the effort by removing litter, clearing vegetation, and, where accessible, wading into the water to tackle stream pollution. The overall project, led by Harrow and Barnet Councils, involves a collaborative effort with Thames21, Thames Water, Environment Agency, Greater London Authority, Canal and River Trust, Brent Catchment Partnership, Friends of the Silk Stream Resident Group, Silk Stream Flood Action Group, and other stakeholders.
The initiative, funded by Defra as part of the £150 million Flood and Coastal Resilience Innovation Programme, seeks to address climate change effects by making space for water, reducing flooding, and enhancing water quality in the Silk Stream catchment area. The project’s innovative approaches include building new wetlands, restoring river stretches, and creating natural drainage areas.
A Thank You Event for Volunteers will take place at Flash Musical Theatre from 3:30 pm to 5 pm following the River Action Day. Participants are encouraged to dress for the weather, bring a packed lunch and fluids, while the organisers will provide necessary equipment, tea, coffee, and biscuits.
The broader “Action for Silk Stream” project spans Barnet and Harrow and utilises nature-based solutions for river restoration to increase flood resilience and provide habitat, biodiversity, and community benefits. Residents are encouraged to contribute to better river health by adopting simple practices such as connecting down pipes to water-butts, checking plumbing connections, installing permeable paved driveways, and avoiding fly tipping in watercourses.
Several key schemes within the project include the creation of a flood basin in Chandos Park, realignment of Burnt Oak Brook, and the establishment of wetlands in various locations. These measures aim to enhance water quality, provide additional flood storage, and create beautiful public spaces for community well-being.
The project also addresses historical modifications, such as the restoration of the Edgware Brook to a more natural state, with features like meanders, channel widening, gravel beaches, and bankside vegetation to slow the flow. Similar improvements are planned for other locations like Bentley Priory, Stoneyfields Park, Beatty Road, Morecambe Gardens, Lyndhurst Park, and The Meads, with an emphasis on leaky dams, rain gardens, and natural flood storage basins.
As the “Action for Silk Stream” project unfolds, it represents a significant step towards building a resilient and sustainable environment that benefits both communities and the Silk Stream ecosystem.