Harrow Lodge Park project improves lakes and wildlife habitat

Published: Thursday, 16 February 2023

Major restoration of the lakes at Harrow Lodge Park has now finished and will help to boost wildlife and enhance surrounding areas to be enjoyed by residents and park users.

Dredging of the lakes started in March 2022 and finished at end of last year.

Havering Council worked in partnership with environment specialists Ebsford Environmental to carry out the works.

Funding for the project was provided by the Council through the Parks Capital Investment Programme.

It had been looking at issues including low oxygen, stagnant water and outbreaks of avian botulism.

Silt deposits caused the quality of the water in the lakes to decline.

Work was carried out to try to combat the low oxygen by circulating more air and pushing the silt to the edges to create deeper channels.  

Last years’ project works included:

  • removal of 30,000 tonnes of silt from the lake channels and reusing to repair and stabilise eroded banks which were causing safety concerns 
  • creating a new wildflower meadow
  • clearing scrub vegetation and replacing it with more bio-diverse vegetation that will help towards improving the area for wildlife
  • creating a landscaped habitat area to the west of the lakes with new wildflower areas, grassed walkways and areas for wildlife to hibernate
  • installing a new platform which extends out on to the lake creating a viewing area over the western pond 
  • making improvements to enable a better system of air, water and nutrients that will help towards healthier lakes 
  • planting to the east of the lakes. 

During the works, drop-in interactive sessions were held at the park.

This enabled residents, park users plus volunteers and friends of parks groups to be kept informed about the works. They were also given the chance to get stuck in.

The project will also help to create new foraging areas for wild birds with a variety of plants that will also improve biodiversity.

Councillor Ray Morgon, Leader of Havering Council, said:

“We are pleased with the works that have taken place to improve the lakes for residents and visitors to Harrow Lodge Park.

“It is also good that these works have helped us provide a wonderful habitat for the varied wildlife which makes this park their home.

 “We know how important it is to have thriving parks and open spaces as they serve as places where we can improve our own wellbeing too.”