It was in 2002 that the Quaggy running through Chinbrook Meadows was taken out of its concrete culvert and allowed a naturalised bed to flow in. This extract from QWAG website explains how the changes alleviate risk of flooding and damage to housing and property in Lewisham.
“Whilst a concrete channel allows the water flow to be highly controlled, in times of heavy rain the river in Chinbrook Meadows could become a torrent as it raced down its unrestricted path and with only limited capacity to store excess water. As a result, infrequent but severe flash floods have occurred in the area. Naturalising the river as it flows through the park has provided an ecologically sound method of mitigating this flood risk. Now, the natural riverbanks allow excessive water to overflow and be retained in the park, safeguarding not only the neighbouring houses but also the town centre further downstream. Indeed, it has been shown that green spaces can soak up 80-90% of water run-off, compared to 30-40% for hard urban surfaces. Now, despite the greater frequency of heavy rain predicted by climate change experts, the re-landscaped park can safely retain and soak away many more gallons of floodwater.”
The link below shows a short film, made by Lawrence Beale Collins, of the Quaggy in flood as it flows through Chinbrook Meadows in 2012
2020 – The park continues to provide essential flood alleviation for areas downstream. Unfortunately in 2019 there were problems for some of the relatively new housing in Meadow Lane adjacent to the park when water flowed to the west side of the Environment Agency “bund”, spreading across from the pavilion side of the bridge. Some photos below show flooding in the park in December 2019
The contrast between the water flow during flood and drier times can be seen here by the flat bridge near the railway line, December 2019 and April 2020