Climate change park in Olympics race
A new Olympics training centre is part of an innovative project demonstrating how sustainable urban drainage systems can reduce the risk of flooding in towns and cities. Supported by RSA and WWF, the Mayesbrook Park flood alleviation and river restoration project in East London is due to be completed in time for the London 2012 Olympics.
Work is centred on the Mayes brook, a small concrete-enclosed stream that runs around the edge of the park. The brook’s concrete banks are being replaced with natural banks and a one hectare flood plain and six ponds are being excavated. The ponds will collect rainwater runoff from the training centre roof to prevent extra strain being put on the local drainage system during heavy downpours. Some of the stored water will be absorbed into the ground with the rest channelled into the brook.
The park’s natural habitat is also being carefully protected and enhanced with new trees and wild flowers. The ponds will add to the visual appeal of the park and provide additional habitat for wetland wildlife.
Once the Olympics are over, the training centre will be converted into a sports centre to improve recreation facilities for the local community.
Mayesbrook is gaining international recognition with Rob Oates, Executive Director of the project delivery partner, the Thames Rivers Restoration Trust, recently giving a presentation on the project to a meeting of the new EU Climate Change Adaptation committee in Germany. Rob is also presenting the project to the annual conference of the Institute of Fisheries Management in Oxford in October.
For more about how natural urban drainage and water management schemes in towns and cities can mitigate the effects of climate change and reduce the impact of flooding, read our joint report: Dealing with the deluge: Urban water management in a changing climate.