Reedbeds are wetland areas that are dominated by the Common Reed (Phragmites australis). They can be found at the edge of many kinds of water bodies where they filter nutrients and remove harmful pollutants, making them beneficial to the wider environment. They are also an important habitat in their own right.
Reedbeds have become a nationally scarce habitat and are a priority habitat for conservation in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan. There are just 43.5 hectares of Reedbeds in London and only 14.5 hectares in Wandsworth. They are found in association with large lakes and on Tooting Common.
Reedbeds provide a dense cover of vegetation that makes them ideal for our more secretive wildlife, such as the reed warbler and the house sparrow. A host of drab and colourful invertebrate species can also be found around Reedbeds including moths and damselflies. (Nationally at least 700 species of invertebrates are closely associated with reedbeds).
Reedbeds growing at the edge of rivers can be a crucial habitat for scarce species such as the water vole. We are working with others (including the Environment Agency and the London Wildlife Trust) to create reedbed and other wetland habitats along the River Wandle, with the long term aim of reintroducing water voles to this river. You can find further information on water voles in our species section.