Broomfield Park Wetland recognised in prestigious national awards
We’re extremely proud that Enfield’s Broomfield Park Wetland was highly commended in the susdrain Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDS) Awards Small Scale Retrofit category, making it one of the top four initiatives of its kind in the country. The project has also been shortlisted for the 2020 Food and Drink Federation (FDF) Awards in the Environmental Leadership category. The winner of this award will be announced at a ceremony in February 2021.
The Broomfield Park Wetland was developed as a partnership between the Coca-Cola Foundation, WWF-UK, Thames21 – one of our local member trusts – and Enfield Council. Friends of Broomfield Park and the Pymmes BrookERS have also provided invaluable support.
The project is one of the local replenish projects forming part of of Coca-Cola’s water stewardship strategy. As well as source protection and reducing water used in production itself, the company also safely returns the equivalent amount of water used to produce their drinks to communities and nature, especially in water-stressed areas.
Construction of the wetland was started in early 2019, with community planting days later that year in May and July. Volunteers from the local area and employees from Coca-Cola European Partners’ nearby Edmonton manufacturing site set to work, securing coconut fibre mats pre-planted with wetland species in the water. By August, the wetland had not only established itself, but it was thriving.
We’re thrilled to be recognised by these important awards bodies – it shows the impact of the project and the benefits of collaborative action and water stewardship to local communities and ecosystems.
What does the wetland achieve?
Creating new wetlands is a great way to naturally improve the local environment and they have all kinds of benefits including:
Water: Wetlands are a natural means of capturing water before it joins streams and rivers. This means that they can remove common pollutants and improve water quality without being invasive. They also reduce flood risk for properties downstream, by storing up to 2500m3 (in Enfield’s case) of water from heavy and prolonged rain events and releasing it slowly.
Wildlife: Wetland habitats are a haven of biodiversity. They can encourage species which haven’t been seen in the area to become resident and can provide a safe place to live for other wetland species which have been displaced from elsewhere.
Carbon solutions: Wetlands can accumulate a considerable amount of atmospheric carbon and can play an important part in helping to address the challenges of the climate crisis. We’ll be monitoring the amount of carbon that is being captured in the second phase of this project.
Community: Having a wetland in the local area provides countless opportunities for people to engage with nature. They can be used to help educate young people about wildlife and the water cycle, and can bring immeasurable benefits for mental and physical wellbeing.
What’s changed at Broomfield Park?
Only one year after creating the Broomfield Park Wetland, the positive results are clear to see. The area has been visibly transformed and is teeming with different plant and animal species, and local residents have certainly enjoyed interacting with their new nature retreat.
Here are some testimonials from members of the community:
“I’m very excited about the opening of the wetlands area in Broomfield Park. It’s my local park and I’m there daily with my dog and carer. It’s where we exercise and take refuge from the noise and other things that can cause sensory overload and lead to anxiety.”
“I belong to the Friends of Broomfield Park in North London. Recently the park has a new wetlands area. Each spring and summer we organise visits for local schoolchildren to learn more about the park. The wetlands is a proud new addition and I have done a lot of research to ensure that they learn about its value to the environment. I’ve even written a song!”
What’s more, testing has revealed that redirecting water through the wetlands has significantly reduced levels of nitrogen and dissolved phosphorous, two major water pollutants, before it reaches the nearby Pymmes Brook.
We’re delighted that the fantastic impact of Broomfield Park Wetland has been acknowledged in these award nominations, which show the importance of working together with other charities, businesses, and government agencies. We’ll start dusting off our best clothes and keep our fingers crossed for the FDF awards ceremony next year!