Did you know that the River Brent is named after Briguntia, the Celtic goddess of poetry, springtime and love? It’s still nice to go for a walk along the river but let’s face it – the goddess has seen better days. Over the years, the River Brent has become increasingly constrained by concrete, no longer able to support local plants and animals, polluted and prone to flooding.
Thames21, the water charity, has made this great little video about the river, telling the story of the 16-mile river throughout history. The area was mostly ice when the river first emerged hundreds of thousands of years ago, and the River Brent has watched London grow up around it. It used to be full of fish, birds and insects, with beavers and water voles living alongside, and if you go back far enough there were mammoths there too.
The video shares a peek into the plans to get things back on track for one of the main tributaries to the Thames. The work to set things right for the River Brent has already begun. Large communal clean-up efforts have made a big difference, while new planting means there’s now more oxygen in the river, making it a better habitat. The water flows better now too, as logs of wood have been added to the water.
Life has started returning to the River Brent. Thames21 plans to engage people living around it to restore the river, and at the same time bring communities together. Hopefully trout and otters can soon be part of the Brent Cross ecosystem again. Read more and find out how you can get involved on their website.