26 July 2017
The reconstructed Eric Singleton Bird Sanctuary in Perth
received the Award for Excellence in Land Management 2017 from the
Australian Institute of Landscape Architects, Western Australia
This is one of the largest wetland rehabilitation projects of
its kind ever undertaken in Western Australia, made possible
through multidisciplinary collaboration of landscape architects,
engineers and ecologists from GHD and GHDWoodhead.
Conceived and funded by the City of Bayswater and the Swan River
Trust (part of the Department of Parks and Wildlife), the project
restored a deteriorating wetland, which suffered from declining
bird numbers and poor water quality. It was named after Eric
Singleton, a nature enthusiast and local resident, who was
successful in having the wetlands reserved in the 1970s.
City of Bayswater Environment and Sustainability Manager, Jeremy
Maher, coordinated the revitalisation and worked with the design
team and community groups.
A variety of structures, including a gross pollutant trap,
sedimentation ponds and weirs, divert water from Bayswater Brook
into the reconstructed wetland, which passively treats the water
and reduces pollutants flowing into the Swan River. It is expected
to prevent 1.35 t of nitrogen, 200 kg of phosphorous, and around 40
t of sediment and other rubbish from entering the river.
Since opening, the wetland has achieved notable water quality
improvements and attracted a diverse array of birds while also
providing recreational opportunities for the public.
Renowned freshwater ecologist Professor Peter Davies, Pro Vice
Chancellor at the University of Western Australia, said this is was
one of the best examples of nutrient-rich water being diverted
through a wetland.
According to the judges, “The project makes an important
contribution to improving the health of the Swan River ecosystem,
enhancing the amenity of our riverine environment, and creating a
valued community asset. The landscape architects responded
thoughtfully to many ecological challenges with outcomes
demonstrating a high degree of skill and integration across a range
of disciplines, reinforcing the vital role of landscape architects
in improving our ecological systems.”
Martin Coyle, GHDWoodhead Principal – Landscape Architecture and
Urban Design, says, “The horseshoe-shaped landform was not only
hydraulically efficient but allowed the opportunity to create
unique access for the community whilst protecting the flora and
fauna. Locally native plant species were carefully selected for
their nutrient removal capabilities and habitat benefit for
The wetland also features small ‘eco-windows’ for observation as
well as QR codes and online information that help visitors engage
with this iconic environmental site.
The project also received an Engineering Excellence Award from
Engineers Australia, Western Australia Division in 2016.
Douglas Mark Black Photography