What is the River Colne? Why is it important?


The River Colne springs forth from an underground river located in North Mymms Park and flows south west, alternating between both the urban and rural landscape typical of the south of Hertfordshire before reaching Watford. The river has shaped our history through local livelihoods with its influence reflected in the many locations attributed with its name. Furthermore, it provides a lifeline for food, water and shelter for many species to thrive.


What is Rediscovering the River Colne?


Watford Borough Council's (WBC) ten-year programme, ‘Rediscovering the River Colne’, is a ground-breaking project that aspires to bring the Colne back into to the heart of Watford Town and its residents. It will see the river become an asset within the borough, contributing positively to the lives of local people and wildlife, increasing access, biodiversity and amenity value.


Why is the programme needed?


Although there are some good quality habitats located along the River Colne in Watford, it is currently not achieving 'good' status. Thus, work is required to improve the habitat along the river corridor and help contribute to enhancing the River Colne status under the Water Framework Directive.


What is the Water Framework Directive?

The European Water Framework Directive came into force in December 2003. It provides an opportunity to plan and deliver a better water environment. The Water Framework Directive requires that all European Member states’ water bodies reach Good Ecological Status or Potential by 2027.This has been taken into UK law upon our departure form the EU.


Who are the Watford Borough Council working with?

We are working with: Hertsmere Borough Council, Affinity Water, Environment Agency, ColneCAN, Colne Valley Fisheries Consultative,Community Connections Project, Hertfordshire and Middlesex Wildlife Trust, Veolia, Watford Green Gym and Sustrans, among other local stakeholders and community groups.


How will this benefit me?

The project aims to provide sustainable solutions to resolve the issues affecting the river and to regenerate the public spaces it flows through, providing a healthy river corridor with clean water, diverse wildlife and low flood risk that is accessible to all and of high amenity value to local people. The River Colne corridor will become a positive asset within the borough, enabling it to reach its full potential for both local people and wildlife, both today and for future generations to enjoy. 


Will I still be able to walk through public during the river improvement works?


Yes, walking routes and thoroughfare will still be accessible in parks with diversion signs in place. To note: public will not be able to enter contractor working area to ensure safety for all people.


What trees will be removed?


Some trees will be removed as part of the river improvement plans to provide a balance of tree cover along the River Corridor, to provide maximum positive outcomes for the river corridor and species within it. We will be planting new trees, shrubs and native species within the wider project area.


How will we be notified about the works?


Information will be available on this webpage, so please check every so often. Other forms of communication are also planned, including update letter drops for surrounding residents, signage, posters around the work area and through social media.