It's been a wonderfully relaxed summer here at Tideway Village. The combination of the Riverlight pocket park and Tideway Village gardens has provided a peaceful green haven that is now a real feature of the London south bank. Flowers, grass, trees and boats have combined to produce one of those unexpected peaceful corners that London still provides, appreciated by both humans and ducks.
Tideway Village has extended this green space down to water level, with the gardens on the boats backed up by an automatic self watering system. This conjunction of land with water continues with our floating island of water plants that also acts as a refuge for water fowl. The island had a pair of nesting swans this summer who hatched seven chicks. Ducklings were also raised on the island.
Houseboat residents noticed a huge interest in the dock from the passing public, to respond to this we have now placed plaques with a brief history about each boat on our quayside gates. These and the boats are now much photographed.
The public response to this new open space has been very enthusiastic; summarised by the wonderful overheard remark, from someone on the quayside next to the new Nine Elms Tavern, "How clever of St James to put the boats here it makes it so much more attractive".
Sunday 15 September 2013
TIDEWAY DOCK WATER GARDENS.
INCORPORATING FLOATING BIOHAVENS, SELF WATERING PLANT TROUGHS AND HOUSEBOAT GARDENS.
Our idea for the transformation of Tideway Dock, the location of Tideway Village, into a harmonious conjunction with the new River light developments Pocket Park.
The developer St James originally proposed replacing the houseboats of Tideway Village with a giant floating garden, but this plan was then abandoned in favour of retaining the community, though no guarantee of the village’s future has yet been given.
Our solution is to provide a habitation for both the existing community and nature through gardens on the houseboats, self watering plant troughs on the dock walls and floating gardens for plants and water fowl (floating biohavens).
This combination will provide a unique feature on the river for the wider community to enjoy; a nature enclave featuring water plants, flowers and a nesting and roosting sanctuary for the large population of resident water fowl.
The water garden would link with The Riverlight development’s Pocket Park so providing a natural green space where the river meets the land. It would incorporate information tablets on the plant and bird species present and a controlled feeding station for the birds. Encouraging public access and interaction with the river, one of the aims of the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon plan for the river.
The design of the floating islands has sourced some of the materials - plastic bottles- from the pollution currently floating in the dock.. Plant life in the form of Reeds and Water Iris are supported by natural Peat beds on the islands, with route structures reaching the water source below. The wall mounted troughs are placed a foot above the high tide mark with lengths of cotton cord drawing water into the trough at high tide through osmosis. A new independent report commissioned by Thames21 reveals huge potential for reedbeds to boost biodiversity, reduce the effects of pollution and improve the social and amenity value of the river.
Our houseboat name The Newark, rather lends itself to a scheme that helps sustain and promote the breeding population of birds and insects in the dock.
Birds that currently breed at or visit the dock: Plant Species on the wall troughs and islands
Mallard ducks (Nesting) Turn Water Iris
Diving Ducks Wren (nesting) Reed Mace
Canada geese (Nesting) Heron Norfolk Reed
Yellow Wagtail (Nesting) Coot (nesting) King Cups
King fisher Moorhen (nesting) Vinca Minor
Cormorant Swan Virginia Creeper Greylag geese (Nesting) Pochard Duck
Great Crested Grebe Yellow Wagtail (nesting)
King Fisher Cormorant.