A scheme to reroute a river into an Enfield park and reduce the risk of flooding was the only urban project to reach the finals of a national environmental award.

The Environment Agency and Enfield Council are celebrating being runners-up for the UK Rivers Prize for the Albany Park River Restoration Project.

The project, completed in October 2021, revitalised 400m the Turkey Brook by digging a new channel to bring the river into the Enfield Park.

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Environment Agency geomorphology specialist Dr Matilda Biddulph said: “I am absolutely delighted that such a wonderful urban partnership project was selected as a finalist for the UK Rivers Prize.

“It is very rewarding to be recognised with Enfield Council for seven years of hard work on the project and that the area has benefitted from increased biodiversity, habitat for wildlife, reduced flood risk and a space for everyone to enjoy.”

The project provides a new habitat for wildlife and improves the landscape for park users.

Enfield Independent: Turkey Brook downstream after worksTurkey Brook downstream after works

The UK River Prize aims to celebrate the achievements of those individuals and organisations working to improve the natural functioning and ecological integrity of our rivers and catchments and recognises the global benefits to society of a healthy natural environment.

Councillor Rick Jewell, who is responsible for environment at Enfield Council, said: “To be nominated at all is a huge achievement for Enfield, being the only major city represented in the category and the only urban project.

“This landmark project saw 400 metres of the Turkey Brook rerouted and the excavation of 25,000 cubic metres of soil.

Enfield Independent: Turkey Brook downstream before worksTurkey Brook downstream before works

“The result is that we now have a beautiful meandering river which greatly improves the aesthetics of the park and creates a thriving environment for wildlife while reducing flood risks to properties.”

Wildlife seen since completion of the scheme include kingfishers, little egrets, dragonflies and fish species including rudd, roach, dace and bullhead.

The project includes an outdoor classroom and provides better access to nature through the provision of new footpaths.

Constructed wetland features aim to mitigate the impact of urban pollution from the local drainage network.