3. Meades Water Gardens Regeneration

Aims: Involve people with their local waterbodies; Improve wildlife corridors; Improve water quality; Manage flow; Work together

Water body: River Chess
Project description

River restoration and access improvement scheme close to Chesham town centre.

 The Meades Water Gardens are an important urban green space within 150m of Chesham Town Centre.  The site is situated on the route of the Chess Valley Walk and is frequently used by the public.  The Gardens were created in the 1970s, on the site of a watercress bed and former mill pond. The river and beds were re-landscaped to create formal water gardens with two ornamental ponds, held back by weirs. It was soon found, however, that silt rapidly accumulated in the ponds decreasing their wildlife and aesthetic value.  Lack of tree management reduced light levels in the gardens and they became the focus for anti-social behaviour.  

In 2004, a restoration proposal was developed, the objective of which was to bring the site back into management, to create a more sustainable, natural river channel and to improve the gardens both for wildlife and people, regenerating a valuable urban green space. After receiving the backing of the local community and following a long period of development and fundraising, the majority of work was completed in June 2008. A further phase of access improvement work was carried out in 2010/11, enabling access for all to the regenerated gardens.  Further information on this project can be found here.

Project lead: Chilterns Chalk Streams Project
Project partners: Buckinghamshire County Council, Environment Agency, Chesham Town Council, Chilterns Conservation Board, Chiltern District Council, Chiltern Woodlands Project
Contact for more information: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Project start: September 2007
Project end: March 2011
Funding source: Veolia Environmental Trust , Chesham Town Council , Chilterns Chalk Streams Project, Environment Agency, Chiltern District Council, Bucks CC

Design by LTD Design Consultants and build by Garganey Consulting. From an original concept by the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust.