7. Revitalising the RiVer: Restoration Project from Verulamium Park to Sopwell Nunnery

Aims: Improve wildlife corridors; Improve water quality

Water body: River Ver
Project description

The Environment Agency, Affinity Water, St Albans City and District Council and Hertfordshire County Council's Countryside Management Service (CMS) are working together to improve the River Ver, the Verulamium Park lakes and the wider river area through St. Albans.

The 2.5km project area has been split into six sections or 'reaches' which cover the River Ver from Verulamium Park through to Sopwell Mill Farm.  Each reach has a range of unique constraints and oppurtunities which the project considers.

Working with our consultants, AECOM, we have developed a plan for each of the six reaches of the project.

In some reaches, we expect a change in groundwater levels after abstractions is reduced in 2024.  This change may impact low lying ground within areas of green space, as well as the Cottonmill Allotment site.  The project proposals consider the change in water levels and seeks to enhance the affected areas by improving access and land-use, while also creating valuable habitats for wildlife.


Our plans will bring tremendous benefits for the river, its wildlife, and the people of St. Albans.  The scheme seeks to restore original chalk river characteristics in the Ver, including crystal clear water, a clean gravel bed and healthier flows.  It will also improve the aquatic environment to support a wide range of birds, plants, animals and fish.

This is a once in a lifetime oppurtunity to address the historical and current issues and deliver sustainable oppurtunities on a substantial scale.

Next steps:

We are currently finalising the feasibility study and designs.  Through 2019/2020 we will be developing detailed designs and begin delivery in some reaches.


Full details can be found at www.revitalisingtheriver.co.uk



Project lead: Environment Agency
Project partners: Affinity Water, Environment Agency, St Albans City & District Council
Contact for more information: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This project is part of the Revitalising Chalk Rivers initiative

Revitalisaing Chalk Rivers logo

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