2. Salmons Brook Healthy River Challenge

Themes: Water quality; Biodiversity; Getting people and communities engaged


  • Reduce the frequency and severity of pollution
  • Increase surface water management at source
  • Improve riverine and riparian habitat
  • Improve river function and sustainability
  • Improve knowledge and understanding of the catchment
  • Improve awareness of the impact of behaviour on the water environment
  • Increase public engagement and participation

Project description

Thames21 has been working with Enfield Council, The Environment Agency and Thames Water to improve the health of the Salmons Brook using systems inspired by nature and the energy of local people who live close to the river.

Why the Salmons Brook?
The Salmons Brook starts near Potters Bar and flows through Enfield to join the River Lea in Edmonton. The Salmons Brook is failing standards for water quality set out by the EU and needs new approaches to help clean it up.

Enfield has a separate sewage system, meaning that surface water and wastewater are carried in two separate pipes. As a result, pollutants enters the Salmons Brook in a number of different ways, through misconnected plumbing, road run-off and dumping of household and industrial waste into surface water drains.


What are the aims of the project?
This project consists of a number of key elements:
1. Creating a range of wetland systems to help treat polluted water before it is allowed to enter the Salmons Brook
2. Promoting local behavioral change through education about the urban water cycle
3. Allowing more people to access and benefit from their local waterways and wetland systems
4. Assessing the impact of the wetlands created and of local behavioral change on the health of the Salmons Brook


Wetland systems
Wetland systems known as Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) have been created to treat polluted water that flows through the drainage network and into the river. In urban areas, road run-off (including oil and heavy metals) are washed into the river every time it rains. As well as filtering pollutants out of water, SuDS can also help reduce local flood risk by slowing the flow, create wildlife habitats and provide new amenities for local people.


So far we have completed 4 wetland systems:

Glenbrook SuDS

Hounsden Spinney SuDS

Grovelands Park SuDS

Grovelands Park Reedbed



Project lead: Thames21
Project partners: London Borough of Enfield,Environment Agency
Funding source: Defra
Contact for more information: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Design by LTD Design Consultants and build by Garganey Consulting.