More news...

Jul 6, 2018
Category: Drought
Posted by: Kathryn

With this hot weather our water use goes up; this leaves less water available for the Chess.

May 3, 2018
Category: Abstraction
Posted by: Kathryn

With an ever-growing demand for drinking water and increasingly extreme weather events, how do we get the water we need without causing even more harm to our rivers?

May 2, 2018
Category: Drought
Posted by: Kathryn

Our riverfly monitors are back out in the centre of Chesham checking for life in the Chess now that flow has returned.

Mar 24, 2018
Category: HS2
Posted by: Kathryn

A public meeting with HS2 and the Environment Agency looked at the risks posed by tunnelling to the groundwater and rivers of the Chess and Misbourne Valleys.

Latest News

Habitat Enhancement - Our Chess Masters

Oct 24, 2012

Category: Conservation
Posted by: Kathryn

The Masterclass participants in the Chess

The Masterclass participants assembled in the Chess

We had an excellent day on the 23rd October with the Wild Trout Trust upstream of Scotsbridge Mill in Rickmansworth. We were given a masterclass by Andy Thomas and Shaun Leonard on how to improve and enhance habitat for fish. The stretch of river we worked on is open to the public and forms part of the Chess Valley Walk. It is very popular with the public, but less so with fish; with this project we are hoping to change that.

There is excellent habitat for fry and smaller fish, but not so for mature, larger fish. The techniques demonstrated will encourage larger fish to take up territory and hopefully spawn. We created pinch points designed to clean gravel and scour out pools, half logs were installed to provide cover for fish and we built a brash barrier that will encourage bankside plant growth and habitat for fry and smaller fish.

Scott working on some freshly installed woody debrisThe event was supported by a great group of partners. The landowner, Three Rivers District Council, provided access, large woody material and participating muscle. The Environment Agency gave their consent to the works and participated in the event, as well as providing an explanation as to why and how consent is obtained. The Chiltern Chalk Streams Project and Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust drew together a number of environmental and river groups who also attended. This was an important element of this masterclass; these groups can take what they learnt back to their individual organisations and implement the techniques on the river.

We had considerable interest from the public and while we were there a school group arrived from Twyford to do kick sampling. They had some excellent results finding stone leaches, chub fry, bullheads, minnows and sticklebacks.

We are going to follow up with further work on this stretch of the Chess and other locations.

Our chairman, Paul, said, "A big thank-you to all involved yesterday, it was a fantastic success."

More images of the day can be viewed on our Facebook page.