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 Smestow Brook River Restoration

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Dulwich Mill Pond. Desilting (The Dulwich Estate):


In Early 2013 we completed a project for The Dulwich Estate to remove silt from the pond as part of a scheme to improve the condition of the pond and surrounding land. Works were also carried out to, create additional amphibian habitat, improve the aquatic plant diversity and to install a new separator to reduce future silting and contamination from urban runoff.



Dulwich Mill Pond is a through flow pond approximately 85m long ad 28m wide. The pond takes ground and surface water runoff from the surrounding catchment of Sydenham Hill and Dulwich Woods.

Over time the pond had become heavily silted with greatly reduced clear water depth and the surrounding tree canopy and vegetation had been allowed to become extensive and had significantly reduced the light levels within the pond.

With the assistance of The Dulwich Estate secured funding via a Biffa award to carryout works to make improvements to the pond to create long term habitat benefits for amphibians and improve bio diversity.

Willowbank Serviced successfully tendered for the works which commenced late 2012.

Works Carried Out:

 Stage 1:


  •         Extensive thinning of bank side trees (By Dulwich Estate)
  •         Clearance of self seeded brush and scrub
  •         Drain down of water level via discharge to combined sewer with permits from Thames Water
  •         Arisings from tree works and scrub clearance used to create bunds to contain silt
  •         Install geo-textile revetments to contain silt and form new marginal plating areas
  •         Separation and extraction of 100m3 of contaminated silt via pumping to geo-textile bag for safe de watering
  •         De-siltation of pond via pumping and excavator with silt placed on banks behind bunds and into marginal planting bays
  •         Restoration works to out fall structure and trash screen
  •         Installation of runoff separator in main surface water inlet


Stage 2: After allowing bank side silt to dry out and silt in planting bays to consolidate


  •         Landscaping of dried silt on banks with top soil and seeding
  •         Planting of marginal and deep water plants in planting bays with wild fowl protection
  •         Construction of two Amphibian breeding ponds adjacent to main pond