pgc all green working and signpost with lettering new colour 2
pgc all green working and signpost with lettering new colour 2
facebook icon twitter icon

Share this article share on facebook share on twitter

A project to restore the health of the lakes, wildlife pond and wetlands in Broomfield Park has won the backing of a government body.

swans and cygnets on the lower lake in broomfield park photo by jenny edwardsThanks to the efforts of Friends of Broomfield Park's lakes team, a family of swans has been nesting in the park for the first time in living memory. Further improvements to water quality will require expert advice (Photo: Jenny Edwards)

The Environment Agency has agreed to commission an ecologist to carry out an environmental audit and recommend an enhancement strategy aimed at increasing biodiversity and water quality in Broomfield Park. The work will be carried out by MK Associates, who will report back towards the end of the year.

The board which is managing the project is made up of members from the agency, Enfield Council, Thames Water, Thames 21 and, last but not least, Friends of Broomfield Park (FoBP).

FoBP committee member Elena Phrydas, said, “So many of us care deeply for our local park and the creatures that live there, but we need expertise on the next steps to look after this environment. This will bridge that gap.”

“We are delighted to support this project” said Lewis Elmes for the Environment Agency. “It is a great example of a community caring about and wanting to improve the local environment by taking thoughtful and determined action, based on science.”

Next spring FoBP volunteers will start testing water quality in all the watercourses and carry out new planting to help improve water quality and provide natural food for birds and other wildlife.

Jenny Edwards, who set up the Friends' lakes action team, said, “This will be a great example of citizen science in action to help clean the waters that are so vital to our local and global environment.”

The team has been working hard to improve the quality of the water in the park, pulling out huge amounts of plastic, litter and large items that have accumulated in the lakes over many years - they include shopping trollies, traffic cones, bicycles and chairs.

As the lakes have improved, visitors to the park have been treated to the sight of daphne flowers and sticklebacks. More ducks and geese have been successfully raising their families, and since last year a family of swans have nested in the park for the first time in living memory, becoming local celebrities.

However, there remain problems with water quality, caused by high levels of phosphates and nitrates as well as by occasional suspected sewage contamination. Algal blooms occur and, in some years, duckweed has completely blanketed the lakes. Studies have found high levels of road runoff pollutants from traffic on Aldermans Hill.

Rick Jewell, Enfield Council's cabinet member for the environment, said: “The council is pleased to play an integral part in the project to help improve water quality and biodiversity within Broomfield Park.

“By having a member of the watercourses team from the council on the project board, we are able to provide invaluable help, support and advice to the Friends of Broomfield Park. We also provide specialist knowledge on the park’s watercourses, including the three lakes and the wetlands.”

The Enfield Green and Blue Strategy, published in 2020, lists Broomfield Park as one of the three areas in the borough with the potential to be designated as site of borough importance for nature conservation, with key significance for wildlife in Enfield.

Log in to comment