The Quaggy Waterways Action Group!
The organisation, previously called the Friends of the Quaggy, was formed in 1990 in response to a proposed flood alleviation scheme which would have destroyed the remaining natural sections of the River Quaggy. Due to the intervention of QWAG, that proposal has now been replaced with a flood alleviation scheme that will increase and improve the Quaggy’s more natural sections. QWAG is now building on that success, continuing to promote the restoration of the Quaggy for the benefit of both people and wildlife
Our goal is to demonstrate, using the Quaggy, that rivers can be major assets to an urban environment – bringing natural beauty, educational facilities and wildlife value into urban landscapes and urban lives. By demonstrating what can be done, we hope to inspire further river restoration work in other urban areas. To achieve this, we must win the hearts and minds of planners, politicians and landowners. Our message is that the mistakes of the past – burying urban rivers in concrete coffins – can be reversed, to bring living natural features into the hearts of our urban jungles.
What does QWAG do?
QWAG concerns itself with any issue that protects, promotes or revitalises the River Quaggy and its tributaries, for the public benefit.
We help protect by monitoring the river, organising clean-ups, scrutinising and commenting on riverside planning applications.
We help promote through news letters, exhibitions, events, talks, a website and our riverside interpretation signs. Fundraising is a vital activity for financing these projects.
We help revitalise by proposing and participating in, river restoration schemes. In doing so, we are implementing our project, Operation Kingfisher, a blueprint (prepared in 1994) for reclaiming the Quaggy from Chinbrook Meadows to Lewisham town centre.
In these activities, QWAG often needs to work in partnership with others – the Environment Agency, local councils, the London Wildlife Trust, schools, residents associations and park user groups.
QWAG meets regularly – see Meetings for details. Additionally it endeavours to organise at least one riverside walk each year, practically demonstrating the problems and potential of the Quaggy and other local urban rivers.