What do you do with an old London sewer that plans to prevent millions of tonnes of raw sewage entering the Thames every year? You cover it in celebratory flowers, of course.
That’s right: fifty metres below the streets of our capital city, a magical multi-coloured garden has been installed to pay homage to the positive environmental impact that the Thames Tideway Tunnel (or the super-sewer, as it’s more fondly known) will have on London.
London currently relies on a 150 year-old sewer system that was originally built for a population less than half its current size and so (much like me if I’m expected go to work when it’s sunny outside) it can’t quite manage what’s expected of it. As a result of this, tens of millions of tonnes of sewage spills into the River Thames every year (a lovely thought, I know). The super sewer, however, will prevent 95% of these sewage spills once it’s fully operational in 2025 and will create a much cleaner and healthier river environment (hurray!).
With a healthier river in the pipeline; Loo Gardens (yep, that’s what they’ve called it) has been created to symbolise the ecological benefits that the Tideway project will have, not just on the river itself, but also on the hundreds of species of fish, birds, mammals and riverside flora that inhabit it.
This unique underground oasis will be adorned with artificial plants and flowers (due to the lack of natural light) and elements of the garden have also been created using repurposed waste, cleared from the river and its banks.
Andy Mitchell, CEO of Tideway, said: “we’re thrilled to unveil Loo Gardens – an underground oasis that symbolises the incredible environmental legacy that the Thames Tideway Tunnel will offer London and its communities for years to come. This subterranean haven provides a multisensory experience, featuring the nature that will thrive once the super sewer is fully up and running. The garden points to a cleaner, greener future, and an example of the long-lasting legacy the tunnel will leave, far outlasting its construction.”
Loo Gardens promises to be an awe-inspiring spectacle and Tideway is offering a truly memorable and immersive experience to a handful of lucky Londoners who will be given the chance to get up-close-and-personal with the tunnel and its gardens before the sewer is officially activated next year. Sounds abso-loo-tely brilliant, right?Read more about how to enter the competition here.