Two West London green spaces are to be transformed with funding from the Mayor of London, after thousands of Londoners backed them in an online poll.
Seven projects from all over London were shortlisted for funding by the Mayor’s Big Green Fund II in January. Londoners were then invited to vote online for their favourite scheme and, with more than 10,000 votes cast overall, the Mayor has decided due to the popularity of all seven schemes, each should get a share of the £900,000 fund.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “London is now home to more people than ever before and we need to improve our green spaces to accommodate our growing population and support our economy. We have received incredible interest in the Big Green Fund from every corner of London and are delighted that we can fund all seven of these fantastic projects.”
Simon Hughes, the Environment Agency’s Deputy Director London said: “The Big Green Fund is a great way to improve Londoners’ local environment and achieve other benefits such as helping to reduce flood risk.”
The Duke’s River Link, straddling the boroughs of Richmond and Hounslow will receive £157,500 after more than 1,700 people supported it online.
The Duke of Northumberland’s River is a 500 year old, four kilometre long constructed waterway that runs from the River Crane in Twickenham to the River Thames in Old Isleworth. The scheme received 1754 votes and will be awarded with £157,500.
This project will improve the social, historical and environmental value of the Duke’s River, as a key recreational route for local people and a green corridor for wildlife. This will be achieved through a series of projects designed to make the link more accessible by addressing the poor condition of the existing paths, improve way-finding, enhance the ecology of the river corridor and produce on site mapping and leaflets to promote the route. The Duke’s River Link improvements will help to realise the ambition to create a new 10 kilometre circular riverside walk linking the Crane, Thames and Duke’s Rivers.
The Stanmore Marsh Restoration scheme in Harrow will receive £175,000 after almost 1,000 people supported it online.
The Stanmore Marsh Restoration project will revitalise and improve the quality of an underused wetland and green open space. It will provide a better environment for a more diverse wildlife, habitat, ecology, flora and fauna to prosper. Over four hectares of open space will be transformed into an attractive green open space. The project will also help to prevent flooding across London through the creation of approximately 3000m³ wetlands creating a natural water storage area. The scheme received 980 votes and will be awarded with £175,000
The project will benefit all communities, local residents and visitors including school children, businesses, older and disabled people, and people who are not normally engaged in environmental activities. It will include new nature trails, woodland walks, and tree-lined walks so that it is more accessible to a diverse and wider range of people in our local community. For school children, the area can be used for educational purposes where children can take part in pond and stream dipping, water testing and understand the natural life cycle. The project will also encourage healthier living through producing an attractive, accessible and environmentally friendly green space for walking.
Volunteer groups will be involved at every stage of the project from planning through to execution, completion and subsequent maintenance.
Cllr Keith Ferry, portfolio holder for business, planning and regeneration said: “We are delighted to have been successful in our application for funding to redevelop Stanmore Marsh. This money will make it possible for us to restore the historic marshlands in Harrow and open the area up for residents to enjoy. Natural habitats for fauna and flora are reducing across the country and this marshland will help us to increase the biodiversity in the area. Green spaces are vital for the wellbeing of the community. This funding will ensure residents and schoolchildren can enjoy the space all year round. I would like to thank the Mayor and all those people who voted for the project. Work is expected to start on the marsh in the coming months and we hope to have it opened up by the end of next year.”