Riversides and canal banks in Thamesmead could be transformed into nature paradises thanks to a new scheme.

Approximately 200 square metres of new reedbeds will be planted along canals within the town to turn the banks into lush green havens.

Run by London waterways charity Thames21 and London Wildlife Trust, it is offering residents the chance to win prizes if they join in to create the new nature spots.

Five sites will get the new reedbeds as part of the Habitat Enhancement Project and the charity will teach locals how to look after them as they grow and flourish.

Jess Becher, from Thames21, said: “When you’ve got a bunch of people together it’s really fun and easy to create a reedbed.

“Lots of people across London have loved helping make reedbeds on their stretch of river - so come on Thamesmead, let’s see if we can make ours the best.

“Reedbeds are a great benefit to a river. They provide habitat for wildlife, such as kingfishers and dragonflies, and fish spawn and shelter among the reedbed roots.

“They provide beautiful spaces for people to look at and get close to nature, and they remove pollutants from the water by taking them up through their roots.”

Prize draws will be held at each of the five sites on the day of the installation, including Marks and Spencer vouchers and Elephant eco lunch boxes.

The first of several free accredited training days to learn how to take care of the reedbeds takes place on February 8 at Tump 53 nature reserve near Hawksmoor School.

Reedbeds will be installed at the following five sites:

• Harrow Canal, by Windrush Primary School, 1 Titmuss Avenue, SE28 8BQ

• Harrow Canal, Claridge Way, SE28

• Gallions Canal, Thamesmead Town Centre, Meadowford Close, SE28 8GF

• Crossway Canal, 28 Glendale Way, SE28 8HA

• Birchmere Lake, Lakeside Avenue, SE28