The poor state of our local rivers has had exposure in the media, but we need to move the conversation on to examine the detail of the causes and importantly to what solutions are being implemented to reverse this decline.

Together with Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust the Chiltern Chalkstreams project have published their first ever annual riverfly newsletter.

This letter from ColneCAN (Colne Catchment Action Network) expresses concern about river pollution caused by HS2.

What are PFAS and what levels of contamination have been recorded in the Colne Catchment?

During an exercise at lunch, delegates at the ColneCAN conference were asked to suggest possible projects for the catchment.

There has been a really significant increase in Asian hornet sightings in Great Britain this year with 54 nests found, compared to only 1 nest being found in 2022. 

The annual conference of the Colne Catchment Action Network (ColneCAN) took place on Tuesday 12thSeptember at Uxbridge Golf Club. The day was a treat for the 80 attendees, who were the lucky ones, as the event was oversubscribed; it proved so popular that 10 people on the waiting list had to be denied. It is reassuring to discover that so many care about the fragile catchment of the River Colne and are keen to collaborate to protect and restore it.

The ColneCAN Conference 2023 will be on Tuesday 12th September 2023 9:30am – 4:00pm at the Uxbridge Golf Club, The Drive, Ickenham, Uxbridge, UB10 8AQ 

The recent high rainfall has led to sewage treatment works discharging. We can see this on the Thames Water’s online live sewage discharge map.

CVFC is a membership organisation open to local riparian owners, angling clubs, holders of fishing rights, private and commercial fishery managers,

The role of Colne Catchment Host has recently been taken on by Tony Booker, who explains here what he thinks the current issues and priorities are.

The subject of river pollution has been getting attention in the National Newspapers in recent days.

The ColneCAN Conference 2022 was an engaging and enjoyable day spent at the De Vere Hotel, Latimer, overlooking the River Chess.

FREE Webinar 17th March 6-7pm with the EA’s Martin Van Heerden

The ColneCAN Conference will be on Friday 29th April 2022, 9:30am to 4:30 pm at the De Vere Hotel, Latimer Park, Church Ln, Latimer, Chesham HP5 1UG. 

Thursday 3rd March 2022 12.15-1pm.Online (zoom)

Water Quality on the River Colne (Lunch and Learn Online)

A round up of recent news items from the ColneCAN network.

In the last month, the Environment Agency has announced two major public consultations to help come up with creative, ambitious and practical ways of protecting people, the natural world and our precious water assets.

This letter from the ColneCAN partnership written in July 2021 expresses concern about multiple pollution incidents and their lack of investigation.

Plans to release beavers into the wild in England have been set out in a consultation launched on the 25th August.

Since 1995, water companies across England have invested many millions of pounds in projects to protect and improve our rivers, lakes and wetlands. Now, the Environment Agency are seeking your views on how future money should be spent.

Affinity Water are supporting CVFC with their ambitious strategic plan to tackle Floating Pennywort in the Colne Catchment.

Tens of thousands of people in our region have signed up to a landmark movement, pledging to reduce the amount of water they use on a daily basis.

A new strategy to restore our precious chalk streams to their former glory has just been published, and your feedback is now being sought before 15thJune.

Few people would believe that in the 21st century, our precious rivers are still being used as open sewers. New monitoring data just released by the Environment Agency reveals the true extent of sewage pollution in England.

The Colne Valley Regional Park are working with Affinity Water to improve migratory routes for the critically endangered European Eel across the lower Colne Catchment. 

The Environment Agency are consulting on whether new areas should be classified as water stressed.

This project aims to reduce the amount of this very successful invasive species in the river Colne. After promising progress in 2019, Covid 19 restrictions led to setbacks in 2020. The project is at a crossroads, this article explains why and how it was set up, its very valuable initial progress and how it can get back on track and in control of Floating pennywort again.

Affinity Water is appealing to its customers to save water as it is predicting a significant increase in the demand for water this week with more people being at home and the hot weather.

The Environment Agency is seeking your views on an application from Affinity Water to vary its groundwater abstraction licence.

The Colne Catchment Action Network held its second annual conference this November.

We urge all our catchment partners to input into the Environment Agency’s new consultation Challenges and Choices.

Registration is now open for ColneCAN's second annual conference.

This August, the Environment Agency (EA) recorded exceptionally dry conditions for the Hertfordshire and North London area.

This Autumn, ColneCAN is launching a project to help Kingfishers find a home in urban locations in the river catchment. 

The Chilterns, Herts & Middlesex Riverfly Hub's third Riverfly Day is being held on 7th September 2019 at the Box Moor Trust Centre, Hemel Hempstead.

Water is the stuff of life, but how often do any of us really think about it?

That's all set to change this month with the launch of the Love Water campaign on 8th July.

DEFRA have launched a consultation running from 19 July to 11 October 2019. It aims to understand how personal water usage can be reduced, and what measures need to be put in place to acheive this.

Volunteers and satutory organations have been working together to erradicate Himalayan Balsam and Giant Hogweed from a number of tributaries of the Colne this year.

Gerrards Cross and Uxbridge District Angling Society have recently completed an impressive project to improve the River Colne at Uxbridge Moor.

Groundwork South is offering funding to local stakeholders to carry out floating pennywort removal work in the lower catchment.

The Colne Catchment Action Network (ColneCAN) held their first annual conference in November 2018 at Annables Farm School in Harpenden, close to the headwaters of the River Ver.

Two workshops are taking place in April 2019, to train new volunteers in how to become Riverfly Monitors.

The Colne Catchment Action Network are holding their first annual conference. Find out how to attend here.

The Colne Valley Regional Park  is set to receive a package worth £2.5m, thanks to a successful bid for National Lottery funding.

Want to find out how you can save your local river from the comfort of your own home this summer? The River Chess Association provides sound advice to help you reduce the amount of water you use during the dry season.

Click here for the full article

Click here for The River Chess Association website.

The Environment Agency have recently launched their "Working Together" consultation and are seeking your views...

Affinity Water have published their draft Water Resources Management Plan, 2020 – 2080, for public consultation.

An exciting new Geography fieldwork skills-based programme called ‘Riverfly for Schools’ is taking place and we are currently recruiting local schools to take part.

The Government has launched a new grant scheme to help deliver improvements to the water environment over the next 3 years.

Learn more about the rivers of the Colne Valley from the experts.  Read more...

Tom White has been appointed as the new Colne Rivers Project Manager by Groundwork South.

Defra is seeking your views on proposals to introduce a new regime to enforce the EU Invasive Alien Species Regulation in England and Wales. 

The UK Government is seeking the views of stakeholders on its plans to develop a National Policy Statement (NPS) for Water Resources.

The Colne Valley Fisheries Consultative has launched a new Project to enable the public to report and map pollution incidents in the Colne catchment. 

Uxbridge Rover Angling Club members and volunteers  cleared about 10 tons of pennywort from the Colne in Denham Country Park

Blackbirds Farm Sewage Treatment Works (STW) in Radlett  will come back on line in the next few days, probably starting on Thursday afternoon. Flows will increase by between five and eleven millions gallons a day and given the exceptionally low flows in the river through Watford while the STW has been off line you should expect to see a flush through of potentially hazardous material. Please keep an eye open, expect increased depths and flows and report any signs of pollution immediately to the EA 0800 807060. Information courtesy of the Colne Valley Fisheries Consultative.

The website (  allows people to check how their local water company is performing and to compare with other companies.  Led and funded by water companies, (with overview and scrutiny from regulators and consumer watchdog), it brings together information about how water and sewerage services are provided.

We have some spaces on our  training next week for our Water for Wildlife project - Dragonfly and Damselfly  Surveyors Training.
There are spaces left on both 2nd and 5th August next week at Crane Park Island, followed up by a 3rd day of training when we actually survey (some flexibility on this third day).
Jane London Wildlife Trust
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Hello, we are pleased to announce that we will be running our River Habitat Workshops for 2016, in conjunction with the Wild Trout Trust and Affinity Water.

The days are free to attend and open to anyone with an interest in Rivers and Wildlife.

• Monday 25 July River Colne

• Tuesday 26 July River Colne

• Wednesday 27 July River Colne

• Thursday 28 July River Stort

• Friday 29 July River Stort

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to secure your place.

All welcome – details for each of the days will be sent out once you have secured your place, please forward to anyone who may be interested.

Eels Ash River

Volunteers from Spelthorne Natural History Society are monitoring upstream eel migration on the River Ash for a third year in 2016. The Zoological Society of London has an eel trap on the Ash near Staines.  Here young eels travelling up the river are captured and measured by volunteers before being released unharmed to continue their journey. 

A one day course providing training in a new technique to monitor the health of rivers is being held by the Environment Agency in Twickenham on 30th June 2016.  This course will be of value to anyone working within catchment partnerships or local groups with an interest in river monitoring and assessment.

Help monitor the state of the Colne Catchment and its wildlife by joining the Thames Water Blitz.

Do you have a project that you want to get the ground?  You could be awarded £8,000, £10,000 or £12,000 in this round!! 

Great news round 2 for Tesco Bags of Help grants scheme is open from 18 April 2016 and closes at noon on 3 June 2016 

Please have a look at the link below and also LIKE and FOLLOW us on social media to see updates as the round progresses.

Find out more about fishy goings on around the Colne & Lee catchments here.




himalayan balsam

Invasive Species Week

From 29 February - 4 March 2016 organisations across Britain are working together to raise awareness of invasive non-native species and prevent their spread. Find out what’s going on and how to get involved below, and keep up to date on Twitter by searching for #InvasivesWeek and following @CheckCleanDryGB

Last year approximately eight thousand fish were stocked into the river Colne, consisting of Chub, Barbel, Roach, Dace and Bream. These were stocked in four locations throughout the upper and middle

The deadline for applicants for the first funding round for the Tesco Community Scheme grants has been extended to 11th December 2015.

If you have a project that you want to submit please follow the link above.


Monday 23rd November, 10am to 1pm

Meet at the entrance to Fassnidge Park,

Rockingham Parade, Uxbridge, UB8

You are invited to attend one or both of the conferences. The programme for each conference has a different focus

Please complete this short survey to let us know what you think and help us gather evidence to encourage the Lottery to support your local landscape. 

The proposed updated River basin management plans (RBMPs)  are now with Defra for ministerial consideration and approval, consequently the plans have today been launched on and are now publically available. 

Thames River Basin Management Plan

New rules have been introduced to simplify the way septic tanks and small sewage treatment plants are regulated in England, protecting the environment and improving water quality.

5 day-long workshops run by the Wild Trout Trust to give you the skills, tools and techniques to carry out river habitat enhancement work.

Affinity Water have launched the latest round of funding for their Community Engagement Fund.  The fund is open to projects, within Affinity's operational area, that benefit the local community or environment, or make life better for the disadvantaged.

The Chilterns, Hertfordshire and Middlesex Riverfly Hub is holding its inaugural Riverfly Day on Saturday 7th February 2015 at Latimer Park. 

The highly invasive Quagga mussel (Dreissena rostriformis bugensis) has now been found at 9 sites in the London area including the Wraysbury River and Wraysbury Reservoir.

The Environment Agency is seeking your views on an application from Majestic Trees Ltd to licence their previously exempt abstraction activity.

Join the Ver Valley Society in Verulamium Park this coming Sunday to protest against the disappearance of the River Ver and the Chilterns precious chalk rivers.

We popped in on the New Barnes Mill Weir Removal project this month to see how it is getting along. 

The Ver Valley Society's Action Group has been awarded the Hertfordshire Rural Living Awards 2016, Environment Award by the Campaign to Protect Rural England.

Ver bow bridge tmbThe River Ver received a valuable boost recently with the first in a series of actions by local water company Affinity Water, aimed at reviving flows in this much loved chalk stream. More...

One of the two lakes in Verulamium Park which are fed by the River Ver

A scheme to improve the water quality, flow and habitat of the River Ver in St Albans is to be examined and costed. Its aim is to return the river to a healthier, more natural state from Verulamium Park to the Sopwell Nunnery.

On 26 January 2023 the Gadebridge Park river restoration project was granted planning permission by Dacorum Borough Council’s Development Management Committee. Subject to completing all the required preparatory work and securing the necessary funding, the river restoration project is expected to begin on site in March 2024.

Groundwork South organised a Floating Pennywort removal session with corporate volunteers from Britvic on the River Bulbourne in Hemel Hempstead on Wednesday 30th November.

Joshua Bowes, River Officer at Groundwork South was out surveying for floating pennywort on 30th September.

A brilliantly successful volunteering event pulling out Floating Pennywort was held on the Grand Union Canal in Bourne End, Hemel Hempstead on Saturday 11th June.

Floating Pennywort Removal Volunteer Event Hemel Hempstead

The Environment Agency, Dacorum Borough Council and Affinity Water are sharing their latest plans to help restore the River Gade at Gadebridge Park, Hemel Hempstead; a globally rare and valuable chalk stream.

The results are in from the archaeological trenching at Gadebridge Park!

The Environment Agency recently carried out channel clearance on the Gade through Gadebridge Park in preparation for the installation of a new monitoring weir.

After an absence of more than 30 years, The Box Moor Trust returned Water Voles to Hemel Hempstead this September!

The Environment Agency and the Canal and Rivers Trust are looking to improve the River Bulbourne for people and wildlife. To understand what local communities think about their water environment and how they use it, we are asking you, the public, to complete an activities survey.

The Environment Agency, Dacorum Borough Council and Affinity Water are hosting a consultation event on 10th September to seek the view of the general public on their proposals to restore the River Gade through Gadebridge Park, Hemel Hempstead.

Local organisations with an interest in preserving our rare chalk streams will be gathering at the Boxmoor Trust tomorrow to review progress, look at restoring flows to chalk streams, learn about the Colne Catchment Action Plan and the exciting River Fly partnership.

The River Chess Story Map is a new website created by ChessWatch headed by the School of Geography, Queen Mary University of London.

The Association has called on water companies and the Environment Agency to take action to protect the River Chess as groundwater levels hit a record low.

The pollution we see affecting the river Misbourne and the Amersham/Chalfonts area is not unique within the 402 square miles of river Colne catchment, but it is certainly one of the worst affected at present.

In response to growing calls from the local communities for a plan to ‘Mend the Misbourne’ the Chiltern Chalk Streams (CCS) team recently held a workshop to begin the work of developing an evidence-based catchment plan for the River.

Great effort on Sunday 4th February from a group of anglers on the Upper Colne removing litter from in the channel; the whole lot has gone to be recyled by ReAP UK and made into new products, nothing will end up in landfill.

The Colne Valley Fisheries Consultative has published a report Micropollutants in the River Colne 2023 revealing detailed analysis of samples of water and sediment taken from the River Colne in Watford and upstream to the headwaters. 

The Rediscovering the River Colne Project in Watford are looking for Volunteer Citizen Scientists

The Rediscovering the River Colne Project has produced an interesting summary of their work so far in Watford on local water quality.

A public evening of presentations about the health of the River Colne in Watford was held on 30th November at the Pump House Theatre and Arts Trust in Watford.

An evening of presentations about the health of the River Colne in Watford on Wednesday 30th November

An ambitious wetland restoration project has transformed the reedbeds at Maple Lodge Nature Reserve.

Watford Borough Council and The Colne Catchment Action Network has launched a new 10 year project that aims to bring eight different sections of the River Colne into the public realm.

The Colne Valley Fisheries Consultative have produced a short video about low flows

The Colne catchment is suffering from low flows as there has not been enough water re-charging the aquifers over the winter.This is especially noticeable in the Upper Colne at London Colney.

River clear up event and balsam pull meeting Moor View Watford WD18 6JQ

After summer fish kill events, The Colve Valley Fisheries Consultative arranged with Thames Water, The Environment Agency, ColneCAN hosts and local fishing groups to walk the Colne from Croxley to Oxhey Park inspecting and mapping sewer outlets

The Herts Countryside Management Service (CMS) have recently completed works within this significant wetland site in partnership with Three Rivers District Council, the Environment Agency and Watford Piscators.  

Community clear up event on the Colne at the Lower High Street, Watford

Friday's thunderstorms led to a storm surge from the Blackbirds Farm sewage works above and at Watford.

The Environment Agency routinely measure and monitor the environment to assess the water situation across the Hertfordshire and North London Area. September was a dry month with little rainfall.

Harefield was the focus of media attention last week with representatives from BBC London News Channel4 News and Reuters all gathered to see the polluted River Colne. 

Tony Booker - ColneCAN lead visited Maple Lodge Sewage Treatment works with members of the Three Rivers District Council water quality partnership team and the council leader Sarah Nelmes.

The Colne Valley Park have launched an appeal to improve river habitats by tackling 2 non-native invasive species that are strangling our local water courses: floating pennywort and Himalayan balsam.

Anglers from Colne Valley Fisheries Consultative collected photographs and water samples of a pollution incident on Christmas Eve. This has been reported to the Environment Agency. 

The Colne Valley Community Intrest Company (CIC) has relased a statement on HS2.

You can read it by clicking here...


Water levels at Maple Lodge Nature Reserve have fallen 32cm in just 2 weeks! This is the most sudden level drop ever recorded at this site. Other lakes and rivers in the Colne Valley have been experiencing low water levels.

The Colne Valley Landscape Partnership is seeking views on the Colne Valley and the proposed ‘Landscape on the Edge’ bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund – and you can help!  Please  fill in the questionnaire at 

MP's signed the Colne Valley charter last week in support of the Colne Valley Regional Park.

The Angling Trust has organised a workshop in Denham on Monday 29th June. If your fishery needs some protection from predators or improvements to access, this fund and meeting could help you get it.

The High Speed 2 select committee visited the Colne Valley Park on 15th January to see the impacts of HS2 and meet local residents and organisations to hear about how the scheme will affect them.

At the attractive location of the Old Orchard in Harefield, with its stunning views over the Colne Valley, directors of the Colne Valley Park CIC presented certificates to the Colne Valley Park's Founding Corporate Supporters in recognition of their valuable contribution to the Regional Park.

The Environment Agency undertook a fish survey in a backwater next to the Grand Union Canal at Harefield last Tuesday. This backwater was created last year and is already showing encouraging results with many species of fish of varying ages being recorded. Two Kingfishers were spotted during the course of the day.

The Colne Valley Landscape Partnership team have introduced conservation grazing at Stanwell Moor to boost biodiversity.

In Autumn 2019, a dedicated team of local volunteers transformed the Horton Brook in Crown Meadow, which lies in the South of the Colne Valley Regional Park.

Volunteers are wanted to help improve the Horton Brook in Colnbrook, Slough this October 2019.

Thames 21 are holding monthly events along the Rivers Pinn & Fray's  in the London Borough of Hillingdon to enhance the river and its surroundings

All Thames21 events are on

Horton Brook rubbish clearfance

Slough Borough Council, Colnbrook with Polye Parish Council, Colnbrook RA, Colnbrook Neighbourhood Action Group, DHL, Pippins School all worked on this Clean for the Queen event, mainly drive through fly tipping. Note – this was only 2 months worth of rubbish as the council cleared the Horton Brook in January!

The Airports Commission report released on 1st July has backed a third runway at Heathrow.

DHL worked with Colnbrook with Poyle Parish Council and Groundwork South to clear rubbish out of the Horton Brook on Thursday.

Brunel University and Hillingdon Council collaborate on Natural Flood Management in Ruislip Woods.

Egham and Staines Conservation Volunteers continued their spring activities with a task at Fordbridge Field, Ashford on Sunday 19 March 2023.

Pollution can find its way into urban rivers via surface water outfalls (drains). The Zoological Society of London and Thames21 are recruiting volunteers to help conduct the Pinn Outfall Safari.

There has been extensive fish mortality along the twin rivers, this is part of a wider problem affecting various catchments across London. Heathrow Airport  is responding to this problem.

65 students from Royal Holloway University of London visited the Ash studying aquatic invertebrates  for their Ecology and Biology degrees.

Works to the River Pinn in Eastcote includes creation of two backwaters in areas where a meander and a backwater used to be prior to channel modification (carried out in the 1930's).  Planting of wetland plants will be taking place on Saturday 27th September.

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