Mill Pond and Ravensbourne restoration

Weir, Mill Pond

The River Ravensbourne and its associated Mill Pond are greatly valued. However over many years the Mill Pond has become heavily silted up, with Bromley council having stopped removing it for many years. Additionally occasional pollution incidents have occurred, a few of them serious. The Environment Agency and Thames Water continue to take appropriate action in response to these incidents.

For several years we have been liaising with various organisations, seeking to renovate the historic Mill Pond (off Glassmill Lane) and so to enhance its potential ecological & heritage assets. We have been doing this in partnership with the following organizations:-

  • London Borough of Bromley (owners of the site)
  • Environment Agency (statutory body)
  • Thames Water (local water utility)
  • Thames 21 (specialist volunteer group)
  • Shortlands Residents Association

Earlier in 2015 Thames21 outlined draft proposals at a public meeting, but subsequently nothing much had happened. However in January 2020 we attended a meeting of the rejuvenated Ravensbourne Catchment Improvement Group, where we gave a presentation highlighting the issues and urging a progress on this project. This was received favourably by attendees representing the above listed organisations. Some funding from the Environment Agency will now enable further planning and necessary statutory permissions to be undertaken, prior to seeking funding for the implementation of this project.

A copy of this powerpoint presentation can be viewed HERE. See our Home page for the latest news.

We are seeking support among local residents and groups. If you are interested please contact us for further information.

Old view of River Ravensbourne.
River Ravensbourne now in concrete channel in Queens Mead.

It is our longer term objective to restore the adjacent landscape of Martins Hill and Queens Mead and the course of the River Ravensbourne through this area to a more natural state. Over the last couple of decades there have been several draft proposals for this, from the Environment Agency in 2009 and an earlier one by its predecessor the Rivers Authority, but so far none have got beyond the initial planning stage.

We are very conscious of the concerns of local householders about the potential for flooding of their properties. Any scheme would be designed to reduce the risk of flooding of any houses.

Besides the naturalization of the river our objectives would be to –

  • Conserve and improve the ecology of slopes of Martins Hill.
  • Improve access for local people and groups for educational uses.
  • Employ this undulating area for better healthy lifestyle activities.
  • Enhance the sports provision on Queens Mead.
  • Improve links with other green spaces in the area

A good example of the improvements we are seeking can be found on Chinbrook Meadows, adjacent to Grove Park Station. Here the Quaggy Waterways Action Group (QWAG) and other organizations have transformed a stretch of the River Quaggy that was previously in a concrete channel like ours. Go along and see what we could achieve.