The Canal & River Trust is asking the public for one last push to help crowdfund a once-in-a-generation opportunity to clean up the drained Brent (Welsh Harp) Reservoir.
The £15,000 appeal is now less than £700 away from reaching its target, as the programme of winter maintenance work presents the Trust and its partners with a unique opportunity to tackle the years of littering being revealed by the receding waters.
With the draining process well under way and expected to continue for several more weeks, a fish rescue is planned, as well as the removal of rubbish from the reservoir bed by contractors and additional volunteer litter picks along the shore.
Ros Daniels, the Canal & River Trust’s director for London & South East, explains: “The Welsh Harp, with Brent Reservoir at its heart, is one of London’s most significant urban wild spaces. We are carrying out these essential statutory repairs to the reservoir’s structures over the winter months so as not to impact nesting birds, including great crested grebes.
“Sadly, local wildlife is fighting a constant battle against plastic pollution and fly-tipping from external sources. Over the years our reservoir has filled with rubbish, threatening the health of water birds and all the wildlife that makes its home here. But now we have a unique opportunity, while the reservoir is drained for maintenance work, to clear up the reservoir for both nature and people.
“As well as organising volunteer events with local partners to remove rubbish from the land surrounding the reservoir, we are employing a specialist contractor to remove debris from the drained reservoir. However, the scale and ambition of the work we plan to carry out is far greater than the funds available to us as a charity, so we’ve launched a crowdfunding campaign to help support it.”
The reservoir works, which are supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, will include: repairs to the chains and rods that operate the reservoir’s sluices; and repainting the Valve House Tower from where the sluice gates which control the water levels in the reservoir are operated.
Public access around the reservoir will remain throughout the works, but signs are in place warning visitors not to walk on the reservoir’s drained area and mud for their own safety.
To donate to the Trust’s Welsh Harp (Brent) Reservoir clean-up crowd funding campaign, go to
To find out more about the plans for the Welsh Harp (Brent) Reservoir, go to https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/brent-reservoir-winter-maintenance call the Canal & River Trust on 03030 404040 or email [email protected].