Wednesday 21 December 2016
Keep an eye out for restoration work on the River Bulbourne from January! The Environment Agency, the Box Moor Trust and the Chilterns Chalk Stream Project are working in partnership to restore a 1km length of the River Bulbourne between the Grand Union Canal and Two Waters Road, Hemel Hempstead.
The scheme will restore the Bulbourne at Box Moor to a more natural chalk stream, create new wetland habitat and enhance the river corridor for people and wildlife. Chalk streams are a globally rare habitat and support a massive range of plants and animals. They are home to some of our most threatened plants and animals, such as the water vole and brown trout.
The River Bulbourne at Box Moor has been extensively modified by man for a variety of purposes over the last 250 years, which has led to it becoming degraded and unable to support the diversity of wildlife typically found in chalk streams. In addition, unrestricted grazing of the banks has contributed to erosion and left little in the way of marginal vegetation which is so important for the health of the river.
The scheme will involve creating a narrower, more sinuous channel using locally sourced material to create a new course within the existing channel and re-grading the banks in behind the new bank edges, reconnecting the river with its floodplain. In addition, wetland scrapes will be created to provide additional habitat and work will be carried out to repair the fords to allow livestock and vehicle movements and prevent erosion in the future.
To protect the restored channel and allow marginal wetland habitat to flourish, new fencing will be installed to control grazing on the site.
The scheme is due to be carried out in two phases, with the first beginning in January 2017.
For more information on the Chilterns Chalk Stream Project, which is led by the Chilterns Conservation Board, click here.