The Ecology of the Tidal Crane
The tidal Crane has an unusually rich biodiversity and in 1990 was designated a Site of Metropolitan Importance. This is the highest environmental status that can be awarded to any urban space.
The 1990 report from the London Ecology Unit (Nature Conservation in Hounslow, Ecology Handbook 15, ISBN 1-871045-11-8) states 'the tidal Crane is of considerable ecological value' and mentions in particular the 'richness of bankside vegetation' and 'notable invertebrate and fish fauna'. This unusual urban biodiversity is partly due to its mix of brackish and fresh water, as well as tidal conditions and varied channel structure, which means some vegetation is submerged.
We are hoping that when this report is updated, the tidal Crane will retain this status and the special protection it provides.
Find out more about the species that earned the tidal Crane its Site of Metropolitan Importance status.
Take a look at our Survey of tidal Crane wild flowers and aquatic plants where we searched for the species mentioned in that original report and found all of them - and many more!
FoNNR Chair Cris Edgell has compiled a survey of no less than 53 species of birds seen on the tidal Crane, from Buzzards to Willow Warblers. Think you've seen an albino Heron? It's a Little Egret - once rare in these parts but now much more commonly seen. You can find out more here.
He has also detected the presence of 4 bat species including the Soprano Pipistrelle.
A recent Fishery Survey has also found 8 species, some only associated with estuarine conditions: Stickleback, Dace, Chubb, Stone Loach, Common Goby, Flounder, Minnow and European Eel. We believe Bullheads are present although none were found on the day of the survey. Read the Survey.