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We are working to carry out river improvement work along the River Ver.

The River Ver is a chalk stream that joins the River Colne near Bricket Wood. Chalk streams are globally rare habitats and there are around 240 of them in England with 10% located within our supply area.

Over the centuries, chalk streams like the River Ver have been changed for many reasons including moving them to work with field boundaries, straightened for mill races or relocated for housing. These changes mean that the rivers are less resilient to changes in climate and drought conditions.

We are working with the support of the Environment Agency and others to Revitalise Chalk Rivers. The aim is to make chalk rivers in our supply area more natural again so that they are less likely to suffer from low flows and have a good variety of habitats for wildlife.

Hedges Farm River Restoration Project

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The project started in September 2019 and was completed in January 2020. The project involved:

  • Tree works to allow natural light into the river channel which will encourage 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
  • 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.


Take a look at how the project evolved

Before/During Construction

Layout of new cattle crossing points on the River Ver

                 Before - July 2019                                              Before - August 2019                           During Construction - October 2019


After Construction - December 2019

images of the river Ver after the restoration work

 Cattle Crossing Point With Water Gates                                  Earth Berm                                                 Cattle Drinking Point 


For more information please contact


Redbournbury Mill to Redbourn Road (near Bow Bridge) River Improvement Project

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We are looking to develop options for a river improvement project along the River Ver which is a globally rare chalk stream. We have identified a 2km stretch of river from upstream of Redbournbury Mill to Redbourn Road (near Bow Bridge), which we believe has the potential for river improvements.

We will be working very closely with landowners and residents in this area, as well as other key stakeholders including the Ver Valley Society, Hertfordshire and Middlesex Wildlife Trust, the Environment Agency and Hertfordshire County Council. We are keen to hear and respond to our stakeholders’ views and thoughts about the river in this area when developing potential options.

This project will be exploring options to overcome several challenges along this section of the River Ver including barriers to fish passage, siltation and historical river alterations which have meant some stretches have lost their natural path and connection to the groundwater. We are looking to create a design which improves chalk stream characteristics including clear gravel beds, pools and riffles. We also want to create a design which enables fish passage, and improves resilience to high and low river flows.

Irish Weir just upstream of Redbourn Road (near Bow Bridge)

Redbournbury Mill                                                                                   Looking downstream from Redbournbury Mill 

Redbournbury Mill looking downstream from Redbournbury Mill (Middle Channel)

Irish Weir                                                                                                  Just upstream of Redbourn Road (near Bow Bridge)

For more information please contact

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