The River Brent as it looks now
History of the river
The River Brent is 17 miles long. Its source is at the junction of Dollis Brook and Mutton Brook in the borough of Barnet and it flows in a generally south-west direction before joining the Tideway stretch of the Thames at Brentford.
The natural character of the river has gradually been eroded as London has expanded through the centuries. It was not until the construction of the North Circular, M1 Junction and associated road infrastructure from the 1920s that the river at Brent Cross took on the unnatural character that we see today. The stretch is currently a concrete channel with no direct public access and contains invasive species such as Japanese Knotweed.
The concrete channel of the river and its tributary, Clitterhouse Stream, will be returned to its original meander and restored to a natural state, reducing flood-risk and allowing wildlife and aquatic plants to flourish.
The new park will create a safe route along the riverside with green space, wildflower grassland, play areas, wildlife habitats, seated terraces, public artwork and pedestrian and cycle routes throughout. The artworks will be installed on walls at key points and will reference the local flora and fauna, especially those found in the nearby Welsh Harp nature reserve.
The new River Brent as it will look
Wildlife and ecology
The enhancement of the river for wildlife is a priority for us. A variety of habitats will be created to include wetland, wildflower and woodland edge planting in order to attract a wide variety of flora and fauna, including invertebrates and colonising plant species as well as bug hotels. Wildlife boxes will be provided on the site for bird and bat species.