The harsh environment that is created when a river is canalized is often sterile and void of any aquatic life or the opportunity for life to exist. In some countries, especially those faced with already dense urban areas, a paradigm shift is underway to change the way we see canals.
This is being done by introducing life back into the canal in the form of plants placed into the beds of the canal, thereby offering habitat and refuge for a host of aquatic organisms. Taking inspiration from the pictures posted by Kevin Winter on our facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/groups/friendsoftheliesbeek/), we are trialing the presence of types of plants (in this case Cyperus textilis) within the cut out rings seen in some sections of the canal. This plant species was chosen because it offers no resistance to high volumes of flow and therefore should not create any increase in flooding risk by their presence.