A £45,000 project will put the River Cray back on the map for as a thriving habitat for wildlife and a recreational feature for the local community.

A stretch of the much-modified Cray River running through Foots Cray Meadows in Bexley is set to be improved for the benefit of the community and environment.

The project, which is expected to last until the summer of 2016 aims to bring wildlife back to the river following years of changes being made to the area.

The Veolia Environmental Trust has awarded a grant of £31,000 through the Landfill Communities Fund, with additional support from The London Borough of Bexley, North Kent Countryside Partnership and the Daily Mail & General Trust. Improvements to the river will include building pools and shallows, making it more natural and winding and planting foliage that attracts certain insects and animals.

Chris Coode, Senior Programmes Manager for Thames21, said, "At the moment, the Cray is missing many natural features and could be so much better. This project will change this. By greening and softening it and enhancing both its habitats and how it looks, we will create a real asset for the wildlife and people of Sidcup and the surrounding area."

The Executive Director of The Veolia Environmental Trust, Paul Taylor, added: "Rivers like the Cray are important parts of our landscape and we are pleased to be helping to return this one to a more natural and attractive condition. I look forward to seeing the project develop over the next couple of years."

Everybody is encouraged to get involved and anyone who wants to find out more on how to get involved should contact Thames21’s River Cray Riverkeeper Michael Heath on 07968 805 751 michael.heath@thames21.org.uk