New reeds planned to clean up ‘harmful’ Muswell Hill brook

16:24 21 April 2012

Consultant ecologist Edward Milner at the polluted stream in Coldfall Woods. Picture: Dieter Perry

Consultant ecologist Edward Milner at the polluted stream in Coldfall Woods. Picture: Dieter Perry

Dieter Perry

A stinking stream that carries raw sewage through a park will have new reed beds planted in a fresh bid to decontaminate it.

The belching brook, which runs through Coldfall Wood in Muswell Hill, is polluted by waste from surrounding homes that had pipes misconnected by plumbers.

Fresh reeds will be planted by the Friends of Coldfall Wood to detoxify the stream. There have been complaints that the putrid water poses a health risk.

However, concerns have been raised that the rushes are being planted in the wrong place.

Edward Milner, 69, a consultant ecologist, said: “The stream is cloudy and really stinks, particularly in the hot weather.

“There are children who go to the woods and play nearby, and it is a concern because if they go into the stream it could be very harmful.

“It is absurd that money is being spent on reeds that don’t actually do the job they are designed to do.”

Thames Water found that about two dozen homes are feeding sewage into the open stream.

After a barrage of complaints, two reed beds were planted five years ago with the intention of being a cheap and effective way to filter the water.

Linda Alliston, chairman of the Friends of Coldfall Wood, said one of the reed beds has since “stopped working” but that “hopefully we will see an improvement when these works are finished”.

Mr Milner, who lives in Weston Park, Crouch End, says one of the pipes that are pumping in the contaminated water is below the lowest reed bed, and it remains uncleansed.

A Thames Water spokesman said it has told the homeowners who have the misconnected pipes what to do and “a number have made those changes”.


Latest News Stories

Saturday, November 14, 2015
Police officers secure a street outside the Stade de France stadium (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

Following multiple terrorist attacks in Paris, this is advice for people who are either in France or who have friends or family on the continent.

Monday, October 12, 2015
Deborah Willemen said she felt like she had 'lost a limb' after the bike was stolen at 3am on Saturday morning (Picture: Deborah Willemen)

‘It was like losing a limb’: A Tottenham single mum needs your help after her life-altering cargobike was (ineptly) stolen by a thief in the dead of night.

Monday, October 12, 2015
Mario Madeo has been jailed

A teenager who carried out two armed robberies on fast food outlets in Willesden and Cricklewood on the same night has been jailed for seven years.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015
One Direction fans queue in the rain to see their idols later this evening. Picture: Twitter/@sweetlarryhugs

One Direction fans proved they will do almost anything to be first in line to see their popstar idols – even wait for hours in the rain on a gloomy day in Camden.

Most read news


MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!


You are never far from an Argos, wherever in the country you may be. They are like a magical cavern where whatever you need they seem to have it out the back behind the counter. So why not put them to the test with this great MyOffers competition to win £1000 to spend in-store.

Digital Edition

Read the Tottenham Journal e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder