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Sep 19, 2019
Category: HS2
Posted by: Kathryn

With HS2 under review, please contact your MP if you have concerns about this project and its impact on our local rivers.

Jul 18, 2019
Category: Drought
Posted by: Kathryn

Please write to your MP before the 22nd July to encourage them to attend the House of Commons debate on the plight of chalk streams.

Jun 19, 2019
Category: General
Posted by: Kathryn

We are part of a new project to make data available to the public on the impacts of pollution on the River Chess.

Jun 7, 2019
Category: Drought
Posted by: Kathryn

River groups call for water restrictions now as drought conditions threaten southern chalk streams.

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.