Pupils help create floating islands

Innovative floating islands have been planted on a lake to help transform wildlife.

By David Sedgwick
Monday, 8th April 2019, 11:09 am
Updated Monday, 8th April 2019, 11:14 am
West Moor Primary School children planting up the islands for Killingworth Lake.
West Moor Primary School children planting up the islands for Killingworth Lake.

Pupils from West Moor Primary School put on their gardening gloves to help bring life to Killingworth Lake for the final phase of the £6m Killingworth and Longbenton flood reduction scheme.

The joint project between Northumbrian Water, North Tyneside Council and the Environment Agency aims to protect more than 3,500 homes in Killingworth and Longbenton from flooding.

The floating islands on Killingworth Lake.

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As part of the project, floating eco-systems, designed and made by specialist contractor Biomatrix Water, have been installed on Killingworth Lake to give plants and animals a place to live, both above and below the water.

Fixed in the centre of the lake, they will also help to keep the lake clear, with their plant roots sucking up nutrients and cleansing the water.

Northumbrian Water’s project manager Lynn Preston said: “It’s been really exciting to see it all take shape, especially with the installation of these fantastic islands.

“It was a pleasure to have West Moor Primary School join us in establishing the floating islands with plants and shrubs, and for them to learn about biodiversity with a talk from Biomatrix.

“As well as being an attractive addition to the lake, the islands will provide a natural habitat for wildlife and fish, as well as keep the lake clean and clear.”

The scheme, carried out by Northumbrian Water’s supply partners Esh-Stantec, is due to be completed in early summer.

Coun Carole Burdis, cabinet member for community safety at North Tyneside Council, said: “It’s great to see the progress being made on this important project, which will protect thousands of homes and families in the surrounding area.

“I am also really pleased to see local schoolchildren getting involved in the planting and learning all about biodiversity.

“Killingworth Lake is a beautiful spot and the floating islands look great and bring something different and unique.”

Nicola Hyslop, lead officer for the project from Environment Agency, said: “We are well under way with the final phase of this scheme and have worked closely with our partners to ensure the scheme reduces flood risk, while enhancing the environment.

“It’s fantastic that West Moor Primary School joined us in establishing the floating islands, which will be a great addition to the lake, providing a natural habitat for wildlife.”