The Royal Parks and national wildlife charity, Froglife, have partnered to bring dragonflies, toads, frogs, newts and other wildlife back to an important lake in Greenwich Park. The project has been made possible with contributions from Froglife and The Friends of Greenwich Park in addition to a £50,000 grant from Biffa Award.
The project aims to improve standing water habitats and enhance biodiversity in Greenwich Park and a focus is to rejuvenate the Flower Garden Lake at the southern end of the park which dates back to the 17th century.
The value of the Flower Garden Lake to wildlife has declined greatly since the early 20th century due to an increase in fish population, high numbers of wildfowl and the sterile nature of the concrete pond liner, all of which have led to an increase in the nutrient levels and algae in the water. By installing new floating rafts which support a rich variety of aquatic plants in the pond, we hope to encourage wildlife back to the area.
Graham Dear, Greenwich Park Manager, said:
âThe project provides an exciting opportunity to significantly increase biodiversity within the park in addition to creating a special place for visitors, local residents and children to enjoy and learn about nature.â
A new wildlife pond has also been created in the nearby deer park, receiving clean water run-off from a nearby building. Park staff and volunteers helped plant the pond with aquatic plants such as the upright white flowered Arrowhead and scrambling blue flowered Brooklime. During the planting work three species of dragonfly were seen breeding in the pond and laying eggs on plants that had only been in the pond for a few minutes!
Alex Draper, Conservation Officer at Froglife, said:
âThis is a great project. We are creating over five hundred square metres of new pond planting around the Flower Garden Lake. We are trying a rather innovative idea of creating open water pools among a colourful range of aquatic plants such as Branched Bur-Reed, Flowering Rush and Yellow Fringed Lily, which will provide homes for zooplankton, invertebrates and amphibians.â
Liz Coyle, Chairman of the Friends of Greenwich Park, said:
âWe welcome the significant improvement that this project will bring to the water habitat and wildlife in the park and are pleased that a financial contribution from the Friends has helped to make this possible.â