Case study:Dagenham Washlands Phase 2

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Location: 51° 31' 49", 0° 9' 56"
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Project overview

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Status Complete
Project web site
Themes Environmental flows and water resources, Flood risk management, Habitat and biodiversity, Social benefits
Country England
Main contact forename Richard
Main contact surname Hellier
Main contact user ID
Contact organisation Environment Agency
Contact organisation web site
Partner organisations
Parent multi-site project
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Project summary

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Realignment of the Wantz through the floodplain in the open space away from the existing flood embankment and creation of more natural banks and profile along the River Beam where space allows. Introduction of meanders and backwaters will increase habitat and add interest to the park for the local community. Some wetlands have recently been created in the area as part of the Washland FAS project.
More detail on size: 58ha & 12ha of new BAP, 150m re-meandering (Wantz), 600m reprofiling and 300m in channel features (Beam). The Wantz Stream has been straightened and runs towards the edge of the space rather than being the visual focal point. Realignment would provide opportunities for wetland creation. The wetlands created as part of the washlands FAS scheme will help to inform the creation of any new habitats.

This project complements a £4.5 million capital scheme to make space for water and reduce the risk of flooding to 570 homes, 90 businesses (including the Ford Dagenham plant) major infrastructure (including Barking power station) and strategic development sites. The project was developed in partnership with Barking & Dagenham Council and the Land Restoration Trust (LRT), and provides BAP habitat within 53 hectares of regenerated open space. The local community were consulted on the design and investment came from the European Regional Development Fund, Thames Gateway Parkland Fund and the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme (LFTCS). The opportunity to make space accessible to existing and future communities was identified.

  • Total costs - £3,767,000
  • BAP habitat created (OM4) - 12.6 ha as part of 53 ha of fully functioning and accessible parkland
  • Estimated economic benefits of the BAP habitat - £536,000
  • Funding and Contributions:
  • Environment Agency (MEICA (Mechanical, Electrical, Instrumentation, Control and Automation) - £986,000
  • London Development Agency, ERDF - £1,567,000
  • CLG Parklands fund (also via LRT) - £1,900,000
  • Landfill tax credits by Viola - £250,000
  • LB Barking & Dagenham - £50,000

Key issues

  • Operational support for seeking to make better use of the washland and convincing them it was viable.
  • Establishing a partnership with the local authority and the Land (Restoration) Trust to explore and realise the opportunity to enhance, as well as protect, local lives, homes and jobs.
  • Developing a large 'additional' project and attracting 75% of the investment needed from external funding sources including 'legacy' funding, for future maintenance.

Monitoring surveys and results

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Pre-project data
Photographs pre-works
Photographs post-works

Lessons learnt

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The project won the CIWEM (Chartered Institute of Water and Environment Management) Living Wetland Award 2011 - the project showed what can be achieved when public, private and community groups work together. The project has helped to enhance biodiversity (12 hectares of new habitats have been created), improve flood storage capacity and provide a community resource.

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Catchment and subcatchment


River basin district Thames
River basin Roding, Beam and Ingrebourne


River name Rom / Beam (from Ravensbourne confluence to Thames)
Area category Less than 10 km²
Area (km2)
Maximum altitude category Less than 100 m
Maximum altitude (m) 18
18 m
0.018 km
1,800 cm
Dominant geology Calcareous
Ecoregion Great Britain
Dominant land cover Suburban
Waterbody ID GB106037028100

Other case studies in this subcatchment: Harrow Lodge Park, Haynes Park


WFD water body codes GB106037028100
WFD (national) typology
WFD water body name Rom / Beam (from Ravensbourne confluence to Thames)
Pre-project morphology
Reference morphology
Desired post project morphology
Heavily modified water body No
National/international site designation
Local/regional site designations
Protected species present No
Invasive species present No
Species of interest
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River corridor land use
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Project background

Reach length directly affected (m) 300 m
0.3 km
30,000 cm
Project started 2008/01/01
Works started
Works completed 2011/01/01
Project completed
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Total cost (k€)
Benefit to cost ratio
Funding sources European Regional Development Fund, Environment Agency, Veoila, Play England grant, Home and Communities Agency Parklands endowment, London Boroughs of Bark&Dag and Havering, Design for London, Access to Nature Grant See Main

Cost for project phases

Phase cost category cost exact (k€) Lead organisation Contact forename Contact surname
Investigation and design
Stakeholder engagement and communication
Works and works supervision
Post-project management and maintenance

Reasons for river restoration

Mitigation of a pressure Riparian development
Hydromorphology Channel pattern/planform
Other reasons for the project Community demand


Structural measures
Bank/bed modifications Bank reprofiling
Floodplain / River corridor Creation of wetland
Planform / Channel pattern Creation of backwater, Creation of meanders
Other UK BAP habitat creation/restoration
Non-structural measures
Management interventions
Social measures (incl. engagement)


Hydromorphological quality elements

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Any other monitoring, e.g. social, economic

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Monitoring documents

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Supplementary Information

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