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Work to begin at River Colne to help restore the river and its wildlife

Affinity Water is carrying out tree works along the riverbank, opposite Timberlake Allotments, as part of the 10-year ‘Rediscovering the River Colne’ partnership project developed by Watford Borough Council.

Along with this work by Affinity, further maintenance, pollarding and pruning of riverbank trees (by the council’s other partners on the project) will take place over the coming months at: Knutsford Playing Fields, Radlett Road and Waterfields.

These works will ensure those of a high habitat value are preserved, traditional management such as pollarding will reduce crowding of the trees ensuring they have space to flourish. This maintenance is vital to the river’s biodiversity, ensuring there is enough shade and light to allow aquatic plants to grow in the river and bankside to provide diverse habitat. If the trees along the riverbank create too much shade, they can obscure light reaching the river, having a detrimental effect on the ability for vegetation to grow and reducing available habitat for wildlife. These works will also allow the public to safely access and enjoy the River Colne.

Elected Mayor of Watford, Peter Taylor, said: “By managing the trees and wooded areas, we can make space for a range of habitats along the river. This will allow a range of vegetation to grow and wildlife to thrive. Some materials taken during these works will be retained and repurposed for construction works during the in-channel river restoration work. This work will go a long way to helping us achieve our aim of restoring and protecting the River Colne.”

Melissa Ahmet, Project Manager for Affinity Water, said: "Affinity Water is pleased to be working in partnership with Watford Borough Council to improve the local environment and to help wildlife to thrive. We know our customers care about the environment and we work hard as stewards of the local environment to do all we can to protect and nurture it."

For more information about the ‘Rediscovering the River Colne’ project and the myriad of volunteering opportunities available, please click here.

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