The Prince of Wales Wetlands Project, run by the Borough of Enfield, aims to create a series of wetlands and habitats to enhance biodiversity, create flood storage and increase usage of the park by the local community.

The Greener City Fund Community Tree Planting grant scheme awarded funds of £20,000 for the planting of 40 heavy-duty trees, adding to the 1,000 whips (small tree saplings) funded by the Borough of Enfield. There have been 5 community planting sessions so far, and many different species of trees have been planted, including: alder, field maple, poplar (white, black and aspen), birch (downy and silver), cherry (wild and bird), hazel, lime (common, large and small leaved), sak, rowan, black poplar and willow (grey, white, goat, crack and viminalis).

The Year 6 classes at the local primary school have a keen interest in the project, as the children have been involved for the past 3 years. They made suggestions for the design (which included leopards and sharks!) and were part of the archaeological excavation, where a mammoth tooth and a 10,000 year old tree were discovered. The children have learnt a great deal about wetlands in the process, presenting their accumulated knowledge at a World Wetlands Day Celebration on 2 February 2018.

Ian, project engineer:

It is great to have a project that tackles multiple environmental issues and natural habitats. And having kids learning about wildlife in wetlands, gives them a desire to help with projects like this in the future and make our country more diverse. It is important to get people to understand more about why we do this.

Throughout the planning and delivery of the project the Borough of Enfield have made sure to communicate and engage with the community and they recommend any similar projects do the same. They found that once people were informed about what they were doing and were invited to consultation meetings, they were more than happy to get on board and help with the project. They have also found that the further along they get with the project, the more interest there is in volunteering by members of the local community.

The project aims to create a friends group for the park, with project champions to assist in the after-care of the site. Enfield’s Parks Operations team will carry out future maintenance alongside volunteers from the friends group. Such works include: litter picking, vegetation management and cutting the wetland basins.

Participants are excited to see the results of planting when spring/summer comes. The children would like to host an event to teach the “grown-ups” all about wetlands.