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River Colne restoration continues near Timberlake Allotments

Updated: Jan 31

Building on last year’s improvement works, as part of our ‘Rediscovering the River Colne’ project, along with partners Affinity Water and Groundwork East, we are marching on with our mission to make our river healthy again.

Since 1996, a habitat enhancement scheme connected a pond to the main river, facilitating the unrestricted movement of aquatic wildlife. However, over the time there has been a build-up of debris and silt, resulting in the both the channel and the pond drying up. Therefore, we will be carrying out a set of works adjacent to Timberlake Allotments to remedy this with contractors Salix and our volunteers.

Salix will be onsite from late January/early February*:   

  • Removing the debris that has built up and is obstructing the river’s natural flow

  • Clearing the harmful silt

  • Removing a small selection of trees that are impacting the river to create a balance of light and shade along the river

  • Once this work has been completed, Groundwork East and a team of dedicated volunteers will:

  • Creating a series of low banks (berms) and flow deflectors that will replicate the natural bends and flows in the river using materials from the trees that were removed

  • Plant the raised banks with native flowers that enhance biodiversity and attract wildlife

These works will improve and encourage variation of the flow in the River Colne and will aim to enhance the habitat and biodiversity, of not just the river, but its surrounding areas.


The volunteers’ works are scheduled to start on week commencing 12 February with completion 15 March* and there will be limited access to specific footpaths during this time.

Councillor Ian Stotesbury, Portfolio Holder for Sustainability and Transport, said: “These works are an essential part of us restoring the River Colne back to its natural state, ensuring it is a thriving environment for wildlife, and making sure it's a wonderful place to visit. We are so grateful to our incredible volunteers for their support, their hard work and dedication is a driving force behind this project.”

Nicolas Gilbert, River Restoration Programme Manager Affinity Water, said: “Affinity Water are proud to support this work with all partners to find ways to improve the River Colne.  This project will help to reinstate key river habitat and improve biodiversity, vital to our long term environmental commitments to improve nationally significant chalk streams in our operating area”.

*The dates proposed for these works are dependent on the weather and are subject to change.

Images taken by Cllr Ian Stotesbury

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