Posts Tagged ‘Docklands’

The Deal Porters were specialised men who worked in the timber docks handling the timber as it came off the ships. It was a demanding job which required strength, dexterity a head for heights and was regarded as very hazardous. They were phased out as mechanisation replaced their jobs in the 1940s.

This statue in commemoration of the Deal Porters who worked in the Surrey group of Docks (which included the main timber docks) can be found alongside Canada Water and was designed by Phillip Bews and Diane Gorvin.

There are also a number of roads in the vicinity named after the Deal Porters.

Naturelog: 6th January

Posted: January 8, 2020 in Birds, Natural History

A trip into the Dockland area of South London this morning. These docks dealt primarily with Timber and the dock names reflect the sources of the imports – Canada Dock, Russia Dock and Greenland Dock. Although the docks have long since been decommissioned this is still an area with potential for wildlife. My first stop is the Russia Dock Woodland. This is a park and woodland built on the infilled Russia Dock, traces of which can still be seen in the park.

I have not visited this site before but have been keen to see if I can see a Yellow-Browed warbler which has been present here for a couple of weeks now. The Yellow-browed Warbler is a small warbler which normally breeds in northern Asia and winters in Southern Asia but which has increasingly been wintering in small numbers in Western Europe. It is a fast-moving bird, which never seems to keep still as it flits from tree to tree.

Yellow-Browed Warbler
Photo by Sergey Yeliseev ( )

Waiting by its favourite location, it is only a matter of 20 minutes before it appears flitting through the trees and bushes before flying above me into a tree and then off to the other side and lost from view. I got a good view – well at least a good view as you usually get for a Yellow-browed Warbler as it continually moves from branch to branch.

From Russia dock, I move onto Canada Water. This is a remnant of the old Canada dock. There are a good number of Tufted Duck plus a single Great Crested Grebe, 3 Mute Swans and a flock of Black-headed Gulls in which is a single Common Gull and a couple of Herring Gulls.

On the way home I decide to do the weekly wildfowl count on the Tarn and find my first Greylag Geese of the year plus a single Little Grebe.



As we proceed to towards central London we enter Docklands, the area that was once the thriving heart of London’s international trade but which as ships became larger and ways of transporting cargo changed became redundant. The area has now been regenerated into one of homes, offices, shopping and leisure activities although in many places it still uses the old dock basins now changed from a commercial use to a leisure use. It is an area of innovative design and architecture.





Reminders of the area's history can still be found like this dock basin entrance

Reminders of the area’s history can still be found like this dock basin entrance

And the building continues





The Isle of dogs in East London is now better known as canary wharf or London Docklands. It used to be an island cut off from the mainland by waterways and latterly by the West India docks. Due to the reclamation of the docks during the redevelopment of the area is is now linked by land where once the south dock basin was situated

The entrance into all that remains of the West India Docks. The basin behind the gates is now a marina for private boats

The entrance into all that remains of the West India Docks. The basin behind the gates is now a marina for private boats

The area was completely redeveloped in the 1970s and 80s and from its dockland and industrial past, it has now become an area of residential and commercial activity with many large financial institutions choosing to move here from the financial quarter of the City of London





The name ‘Isle of dogs’ has many possible origins. These include a corruption of ‘isle of ducks’ or ‘isle of dykes’. Others have suggested that King Edward III kept his hunting dogs on the island whilst some have argued that it was not King Edward but Henry VIII whose dogs were housed on the island.