Meander Reconnection & Backwater – Yeading Brook, West London

Background Information

The Yeading Brook is a tributary of the River Crane in West London. Historically the Yeading Brook has been heavily modified to allow flood relief from runoff during periods of heavy rainfall in this heavily urbanised area. Modification has involved straightening, widening and deepening by dredging, which has resulted in a loss of riverine habitat and wildlife features in this important open space.

Scope of the Project

The aim of the project was to re-instate a redundant meander and introduce improved riverine habitat through the creation of a small backwater. This was a design and build project undertaken entirely in house by Aquamaintain Ltd.

Our Solution

A series of redundant meanders are present throughout Stafford Road Open Space. These were excavated to bring the channel back to its original course and introduce a more natural meandering sinuous flow path. Variations in channel depth, width and the inclusion of a gravel bed and multiple pieces of large woody debris have created a diversity of habitat and complex flows within the new channel.

The second phase of the project involved creating an online backwater in one of the redundant meanders. Large-scale tree works were undertaken by our in-house tree surgeons to clear the areas and allow more light for the establishment of wetland marginal plants.

The backwater was excavated, with the arising’s being removed from the site using low ground pressure tracked dumpers and ground protection mats. The banks of both the new features were naturalised with a combination of woody debris, coir geotextile and several hundred native marginal wetland plants which are grown and supplied from our nursery.