Fisheries management, Hampstead Heath

The brief

The Hampstead Heath Ponds project was implemented by the City of London to protect Hampstead Heath and the surrounding North London area from dam collapse in the event of extreme rainfall. BAM Nuttall, the appointed engineer for the safety works on two chains of ponds on the Model Boating Pond, commissioned Thomson Ecology to undertake a fish translocation exercise. This was part of major works to replace water control structures.

What we did

We completed a watching brief of the pond drain-down. We obtained an FR2 consent from the Environment Agency, and managed a staged fish rescue operation using seine nets and electric fishing.

Over 1,400 fish were caught and relocated safely to the main body of the lake.

We carried out the humane removal of the population of non-native invasive red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkia), and translocated hundreds of native swan mussels (Anodonta cygnea).

The outcome

Our client was able to continue with the silt removal works with no delays.