11. Channel re-alignment - Hedges Farm

Aim: Improve wildlife corridors

Water body: River Ver
Project description

Project to restore the river to a more natural alignment along the bottom of the valley between New Barnes Mill and Park Street Mill.

The River Ver at Hedges Farm has been diverted from its original route into a mill leat between New Barnes Mill and Park Mill (1.4 km), which is perched (straightened, widened and historically dredged channel) above the valley bottom and previously had minimal flow diversity. In addition, the river at Hedges Farm flows through fields grazed by cattle and as a result the banks have been widely poached. The project involved:

  • Tree works to allow natural light into the river channel allowing native chalk stream vegetation to grow on the banks and the riverbed.
  • Installation of fencing along both banks to prevent livestock trampling the banks and reducing the amount of sediment entering into the river.
  • Creation of cattle drinking stations, cattle crossing points and installation of water gates to allow cattle to move between grazing areas whilst protecting the river banks and bed
  • Earth berms have been installed to create a narrow and meandering river channel which will improve the flow velocity and diversity
  • Enhancement of historic backwater by digging ponds for wildlife
  • Additional gravels have been added to improve the chalk stream habitat for fish and invertebrates who use the gravels for spawning and feeding.
  • More information can be found here Hedges Farm River Restoration Project (2020)
Project lead: Affinity Water
Project partners: Environment Agency
Contact for more information: Melissa Ahmet
Funding source: Affinity Water

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