Attenuation. Part 1

Monday, May 18, 2009

It isn’t very often that a patch birder can be appreciative of new, custom built habitat, especially in the big smoke. However, I am in the fortunate position that I do have some brand spanking new habitat! As the patch is as dull as a dull thing on a particularly dull day right now, I’ve taken the time to show this new area off and finish a half composed and half promised post. Which for the benefit of the short attention spanned interweb user, I will split in two…

It doesn’t look like much at the moment, but do let me introduce you, dear reader, to the Attenuation Ponds!

What is an Attenuation Pond I hear you cry? Well it’s a kind of inter-tidal area with purpose built damn wall thingies that should hold water back for a while when the tide recedes. Regular and attentive readers (well that sure narrows it down a bit) may have spotted the area in previously posted pictures (ones that were in focus anyway).

How it looked last summer – before the work started.

The history is thus. There are some ‘fancy’ flats between the Wandle and Wandsworth Park. There is planning granted for some more, and they look nasty! ……….Part of the process of the application must have taken the environment into consideration with liaison with Wandsworth Council, the Environment Agency etc. The upshot is that the first thing the contractors had to do to the new site (which is on the meeting point of the Thames and the Wandle) was to build the new habitat. This involved a noisy period when a new section of the iron river wall was pounded into the ground behind the existing wall.

How it looked in the autumn, with a pile driver in situ.......

Once this was in, the area between the old wall and the new was slowly landscaped, with a slow gradient to an intertidal level. The outer wall was then partly broken up and much of the rubble left at the bottom of the area as a habitat feature.

Nearly finished, with plant.....

Exciting huh?

Stay tuned for the next instalment kids!


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