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Timberlake Allotments is an open space designated as a Local Wildlife Site 84/014 for flowing waters (rivers and streams); species. The site provides a mosaic of different habitats, including river corridor, pond, reed bed, woodland and scrub and is a popular walking route for local people. The backwater site is owned by Affinity Water.

This site also provides peaceful refuge for residents to relax and enjoy the green and blue spaces in the shade.

Current site issues:

  • The backwater feature is currently disconnected from the main river, due to the accumulation of debrissilt and plants in the pond area and outlet channel. This is preventing aquatic species using it a refuge area. The unique aspect of this site is the backwater feature, which hosts a reed bed, a rarity in Hertfordshire and extremely important habitat for wetland species.

  • A lack of sunshine which negatively impacts floral biodiversity

  • Succession presence of non-native invasive species and water quality issues

  • Due to a lack of management, reeds are encroaching on the centre of the pond, reducing the area of open water and further raising bed of the backwater.

  • A lack of flow diversity, which impacts sedimentation transportation and deposition


Proposed solutions:

  • Contractors Salix will desilt the water, removing harmful materials to improve the water quality and they will also remove the built-up debris that is causing the disconnection of the backwater.

  • A small amount of trees will be removed to ensure there is 60:40 ratio of sunshine and shade, maximising blue and green habitat quality. 

  • A series of berms, flow deflectors and hinged trees will be built by volunteers to replicate the natural bends and flows of the rivers.

Contact us


There will be volunteering opportunities for local people and public members to help install some of these key features as the programme progresses. These activities may include litter picking, vegetation clearance, berm installation, and native planting. There are plenty of opportunities for everyone to play their part in restoring the River Colne.


Register your interest.


If you have any further questions, please visit our Contact Us page.

To see the Timberlake Allotments Improvement design drawings, click here. To learn more about our Northern Site plans, return to the main page

Please note: these plans are subject to change due to as yet unknown challenges we may face during the works period.

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