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Firs Farm Awards WINNER 2017

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Enfield Independent   –  Enfield Independent

Enfield Independent

Extract from Enfield Independent

By Michael Bowden

A remarkable transformation

An urban park’s remarkable transformation has been capped with the winning of a national award which recognises exciting and inspiring water-based improvement projects.

Firs Farm Wetlands in the Pymmes Brook Catchment was recognised for its achievements at the Canal and River Trust’s 2017Living Waterways Awards ceremony in Birmingham on Wednesday September 27.

The project won the ‘Natural Environment’ category at the ‘Oscars’ of the waterways ceremony. Run by the London borough of Enfield and Thames21 the project resulted in 500 metres of the Moore Brook being restored. Moore Brook is a ‘lost’ tributary of Pymmes Brook near Palmers Green.

A spokesperson for the Living Waterways Award Panel, said: “The highly integrated nature of this scheme, involving very active partners and close co-operation between different professional disciplines, is truly inspiring.

“The revealing of a hidden watercourse is not unique, but pursuing this aim to fulfil so many different goals is highly noteworthy, and the project has already demonstrated its value as a cata-list for future work.”

Further outcomes of the project were new wetland habitats and improved water quality. And, with more than 100 homes having improved flood defences along with a section of the A10 now protected from potential flooding much excitement has been generated.

Enfield Council’s cabinet member for environment, councillor Daniel Anderson, said: “We are thrilled for all the council officers and volunteers who have worked and continue to work extremely hard to maintain this unique habitat. “It is one of the largest sustainable urban drainage systems of its kind in Europe, providing homes and helping to increase biodiversity. “In turn, the Firs Farm project has helped to foster a strong community spirit, which we are sure will continue for years to come. Congratulations to all.” Other notable changes for the better include a cycleway and network of footpaths, an outdoor classroom and seating areas to encourage visitors. Improved links between Edmonton and Winchmore Hill have also been created.

John Bryden, Thames21 senior programmes manager, said: “This has been a really successful partnership project and we are delighted to have supported the Friends of Firs Farm and Enfield Council in the development and delivery of this as a community space and environmental education resource.

“Our monitoring programme has shown the significant reduction in pollution levels that the wetlands deliver, helping to restore Pymmes Brook Catchment towards a healthy state and delivering massive benefits to wildlife.”

Richard Parry, chief executive of The Canal and River Trust, explained: “The Canal and River Trust is once again proud to announce the winners of our national Living Waterways Awards.

“These annual awards give us the opportunity to celebrate the tireless efforts of those who are helping to transform the nation’s rivers, canals, lochs, lakes and reservoirs, making them exciting vibrant places where people want to be.”

Visit https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/living-waterways-awards-2017 for further details.

The Living Waterways Awards are sponsored by Kier, Arcadis, CPC Civils, Land & Water, Vinci and Fountains.

The awards are assessed by an independent panel of experts

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