20. Bow Lock Floating Ecosystem

Theme: Water quality


  • Reduce the frequency and severity of pollution
  • Improve riverine and riparian habitat

Project description

A 40m floating ecosystem providing habitat for wildlife and a refuge for fish.



Part of the Thames21 Project Reedbed - Reedbeds are important habitats for wildlife and a refuge for fish, they breakdown pollutants in a watercourse improving water quality.
This installation is close to Bow Lock, where the Lea Navigation becomes the Limehouse Cut bringing much needed vegetation to the waterway.

At this location the water is very deep, making it unsuitable to install a traditional reedbed. A 40 metre floating ecosystem has been chosen for this site; this floats on top of the fluctuating water levels and has been built to last at least 25 years, it able to withstand impacts from boats. Below the surface the root mass will hang into the water providing maximum surface area for pollution to be broken down. Additionally media (that looks like a feather duster!) is attached to the underside to provide further surface area for microbes to colonise, these too break down pollutants.

Project lead: Thames21
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Design by LTD Design Consultants and build by Garganey Consulting.