Following a public consultation, a feasibility study looking at restoring a stretch of a local river, currently a concrete channel, has begun.
The Crane Valley Partnership is embarking on the feasibility phase of the ambitious restoration project between the River Crane’s divide with the Duke of Northumberland’s River and Cole Park Island.
The project would see the replacement of the bare concrete channel where feasible, currently hidden from view, with a more natural river full of plants, fish and wildlife flowing through re-landscaped parks and open spaces. It would see an accessible riverside path installed and give more space in the river channel for water, thereby reducing flood risk.
Last year residents were invited to have their say on the Vision. Following their positive response, a consultant has been commissioned to undertake a feasibility study to determine whether the Vision is possible, examining the potential for the scheme and likely costs. Funding for this phase of the project has been sourced from the Thames Water Community Investment Fund, Heathrow Communities Development Fund, Environment Agency Partnership Grants and Defra Natural Flood Management Fund.
The Crane catchment covers five London boroughs, and improvements to the lower river corridor would be a major environmental achievement for the whole of London. The project would give West London residents four integrated urban and natural landscapes with better cycling and walking routes along the spaces.
These spaces would improve the local network, creating new links between Twickenham, St Margarets and the River Thames at Isleworth.
Cllr Martin Elengorn, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for the Environment, said:
“This proposal would greatly enhance the River and its surrounds, returning what is currently a concrete channel into a more natural space full of plants, fish and wildlife. We want to make it accessible for all to enjoy.
“I warmly welcome the start of the feasibility stage and look forward to hearing its findings.”
For more information, go to: www.cranevalley.org.uk