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Forgotten Spaces 2011 shortlisted: The Wandle Leap by Area Landscape Architects

[Wandsworth] A fish ladder and viewing tunnel spanning the Wandle, with adjacent breeding centre in a wetland ecology park, to reintroduce Atlantic Salmon

A single drop of rain falling on Kent may find itself, by way of the North Downs porous bedrock, emerging through a clear spring at Waddon Ponds in Croydon. A nine mile journey through one of London’s secondary rivers lies ahead before it can pass into the River Thames and on to the Sea.

The scheme will be an eco-tech springboard for a local revitalisation

This tributary is known as the Wandle, and at its mouth sits a largely unknown wasteland. The key to unlocking this site’s potential is Atlantic Salmon. A sweeping fish ladder spanning the mouth of the Wandle will provide the Salmon access from the Thames to the breeding grounds in the upper reaches. A salmon hatchery will be set in a mosaic of riparian habitats, including marsh and wet woodland - a parkland reclaimed from adjacent post-industrial wasteground.

The scheme will be an eco-tech springboard for a unique kind of local revitalisation with potential for far-reaching benefits.

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