The Environment Agency is carrying out a six week-long project to restore a stretch of the River Wandle at Poulter Park in Morden.

Together with volunteers, the London Wildlife Trust and contractors JT Mackley, it is working along the stream putting measures in place to restore the fragile habitat of the river.

Chalk streams like the River Wandle contain a unique habitat for wildlife. However, insensitive engineering works and poor water quality has led to a reduction in the speed and clarity of the water, affecting the type of habitats and wildlife which exist there.

Claire Shahbazian, from the London Wildlife Trust, said: “The River Wandle was once home to the endangered water vole, but the loss of suitable habitat has caused them to disappear.

“River restoration works such as this are vital to increasing biodiversity and will contribute significantly to our aim of improving the habitat so we can bring water voles back.”

The project involves narrowing the river channel to increase the flow of water, constructing islands and causeways and laying brushwood mattresses along the riverbed.

The aim is to improve the river gravel beds and allow aquatic vegetation to establish and create improved spawning grounds for fish.

In February, a group of 12 volunteers from construction company Carillion rolled up their sleeves to clear vegetation and shrubs away from the river banks.

Environment Agency project manager, Peter Solomon, said: “This Environment Agency-led project, with help from contractors, consultants, the London Wildlife Trust and Carillion, is invaluable in helping to maintain the River Wandle as a vital chalk stream habitat.”

The footpath running adjacent to Poulter Park and the River Wandle has been diverted until the work is completed in April.