Affinity Water: River Misbourne Restoration Works Completed

Affinity Water reported that the River Misbourne Restoration Project at Barn Meadow and Pondwicks Meadow in Old Amersham has now been completed. The first phase, tree works, was accomplished in Feb 2023. The construction phase started on 14 Aug 2023, and the major in-channel works were completed by 8 Sep 2023. The works which were carried out by Five Rivers, construction contractor, were signed off by both Affinity Water and the Environment Agency in the first week of Oct 2023.

Below is a summary of what has been done for restoring the river and enhancing habitat as a part of Affinity Water’s Revitalising Chalk Rivers programme:

  • Pollarded and removed trees at Barn Meadow to allow more natural light into the river channel.
  • Created earth ‘berms’ to introduce small meanders to the channel, improving flow velocities.
  • Added gravel riffles to augment the riverbed for diversity of flow and to improve the habitat for fish and invertebrates.
  • Formed a gravel ‘beach’ to provide a safe access point at Barn Meadow, as well as to reduce bank erosion.
  • Re-graded the riverbed for better control of erosion, sediment movement and flow speed.
  • Dug two ‘backwaters’ at Pondwicks Meadow to create a calmer habitat to improve the biodiversity.