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29 October 18

Gadebridge Park ‘re-opens’ following revitalising river works

Dave Austin and members of the public at the re-opening of Gadebridge Park

 

Gadebridge Park was officially ‘re-opened’ on Friday 26 October by Dave Austin, Assistant Director for Neighbourhood Delivery at Dacorum Borough Council following the transformative improvement works to the River Gade.

 

The river restoration improvements were carried out by Affinity Water in collaboration with Dacorum Borough Council and The Environment Agency as part of the Revitalising Chalk Rivers Partnership.

 

The river restoration work is part of a wider programme to restore globally rare chalk streams to their natural flow and help create sustainable habitats to allow fish, insects and plants to flourish. Chalk streams are globally rare habitats with just 160 of them in England and 10% 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 and has cleaner gravel where fish like to spawn. Pools are the deep, slower, flowing areas enabling 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.

 

David Watts, Programme Delivery Manager for Affinity Water said: “This work represents our commitment to leave more water in the environment. Coupled with our reductions in abstraction from groundwater sources upstream, these restoration works on the River Gade form part of a much larger programme of improvement works to breathe new life into the Chalk Rivers across our communities.”

 

Dave Austin, Assistant Director for Neighbourhood Delivery said: “‘We are 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 they contributed to this project”.

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