Is it a road or is it a river? (4th September 2005)
QWAG’s latest river walk visited a little known stretch of the Quaggy near Mottingham.
The Dutch House public house on the A20 near Mottingham was the starting point for QWAG’s latest river walk. Having clambered into the stream bed walkers negotiated the conduit that carries the Quaggy under this busy main road and followed the channelised river 500 metres downstream. Following the successful river restoration in nearby Sutcliffe Park QWAG aims to see the river restored here as well.
QWAG Chair Matthew Blumler explains why this particular conrete channel has done the opposite of what was intended – it has actually increased the risk of flooding to homes and businesses.
Is it a road or is it a river? The walkers continue along what appears to be a sunken country lane rather than an urban river bed!
A concrete channel in the middle of wildflower meadows and school playing fields – dangerous, desolate and dead! If the concrete was removed this could be a small stream – alive and enlivening a local school’s curriculum.
Walkers make their way back under the A20. Under a road the river will need to remain in concrete. But the stepped wier is an unnessesary barrier to fish and could be removed.
Upstream the group ventured into a contrasting natural section of the river. More beautiful, but also more difficult to negotiate!
An old kingfisher nest is spotted in the vertical mud bank of this more natural section of the Quaggy. Note also the gravel beach on the left hand side – an important river habitat.