Affinity Water has revealed plans to restore the River Misbourne in Amersham.
The water supplier is working with the Environment Agency to restore and re-naturalise the habitats around the rare chalk stream as part of the River Restoration Project.
Affinity Water has already carried out tree works in the area but is waiting for further permissions from the Environmental Agency before starting work on the river itself. They hope to complete the work by early summer 2023.
Nic Gilbert, river restoration manager at Affinity Water, said: “Affinity Water is completing the River Restoration Project at Barn Meadow and Pondwicks Meadow in Amersham as part of our commitments under the Water Industry National Environment Programme. We are working with the Environment Agency, landowners and other local stakeholders to improve the quality of chalk stream habitats across our operating area, including on the River Misbourne.
“At Barn Meadows, our activities include tree management works to allow more natural light to reach the river channel and riverbanks. We are also completing small-scale morphological works in the river channel. The aim of the work is to improve biodiversity both alongside and in the river. The increased light allows a wider variety of plant species to develop along the banks, providing food sources and ground cover. The morphological works will create more varied habitats in the river, providing areas of slower and faster-moving water that appeal to different plant and animal species.”
An Environment Agency spokesperson said: “Chalk streams are precious habitats, havens for wildlife and highly valued by local communities and visitors alike. Their future depends on collective action and the Barn Meadows project is therefore a much-needed and welcome step towards addressing the many pressures these rare watercourses face.
“The enhancements proposed within the Barn Meadows project will make the River Misbourne more resilient to both high and low flow conditions, bring back specialist wildlife and fish species whilst restoring valuable chalk stream habitat.”