River Gade is revitalised as part of restoration project

Gadebridge Park was officially ‘re-opened’ on Friday 26 October following improvement works to the River Gade.

The river restoration work was carried out by Affinity Water in collaboration with us and The Environment Agency as part of the Revitalising Chalk Rivers Partnership.

The work is part of a wider programme to restore rare chalk streams to their natural flow and help create sustainable habitats to allow fish, insects and plants to flourish. Chalk streams are rare habitats with just 160 in England and 10 per cent within Affinity Water’s supply area.

The river has been reconnected to the surrounding environment by the removal of obstructions, such as weirs, and the installation of riffles and pools to create the new river channel. Riffles are the shallower, faster moving sections of a river with cleaner gravel where fish like to spawn. Pools are the deep, slower flowing areas that enable fish to rest. New river banks were also created to support a better variety of plants and wildlife, along with a wetland to improve the quality of water entering the river.

Local residents also visited Gadebridge Park on Friday to learn more about the improvements and to pick up free water-saving devices from the Water Saving Squad in the Affinity Water marquee.

Dave Austin, Assistant Director for Neighbourhood Delivery at Dacorum Borough Council, said: “‘We're aware of how important chalk streams are and the habitats they sustain, not only locally but globally. The river restoration project has shown what can be achieved when councils work in partnership with other organisations. We would like to say a big thank you to Affinity Water for all the work it contributed to this project."