The River Gade

Upper Gadebridge Park Restoration Project

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

 

In Partnership with the Environment Agency and Dacorum Borough Council we have completed the restoration project to improve the River Gade at the Upper Gadebridge Park between Link Road and Gadebridge Lane.

The project began in March 2018 and is complete for the public to enjoy.

The River Gade is a chalk stream tributary of the River Colne in Hertfordshire, flowing through the town of Hemel Hempstead where it is joined by another tributary known as the River Bulbourne. Chalk streams are globally rare habitats and there are around 240 chalk streams in England with 10% located in Affinity Water’s supply area.

The Environment Agency is currently running a public consultation, which will help produce their final plans for the next phase of the restoration scheme on Gadebridge Park downstream of Gadebridge Lane.

To read more about the plans and to take part in the consultation visit www.tinyurl.com/Gadebridge-Park

Enquiries about the project can be emailed to GadebridgePark@environment-agency.gov.uk or regeneration@dacorum.gov.uk

 

What we’ve done

The changes made will help to increase habitat diversity for fish, macroinvertebrates and macrophytes, improve channel morphology and improve fish passage. Here is more detail of what has been improved.

  • Channel narrowing and meandering that represents a healthy chalk stream

  • Creation of a new wetland feature that will help clear the discharge from two outfalls and therefore improve water quality in the river

  • Riffles, runs and pools creations, which provide mixture of flows and depth for variety of habitats to support fish and invertebrate life

  • Tree works including Alder trees planting and Willow trees trimming to provide more light to the river and help improve the ecology that shapes the health of these chalk streams

  • Removal of two stone weirs that used to prevent fish to swim upstream

  • Plantation of more than 3000 plants within the area

  • A new footpath has been created immediately to the west of the River

  • A gravel beach has been constructed to allow easy access to the river

 

See the improvements

Watch our time-lapse video to see the progress

 

Before

Poor water quality in the river Gade

The discharge from two outfalls into the river and poor water quality in the River Gade

 

After

New footpath and re-meandering of the river

The new re-meandering of the river channel and the new footpath

 

Two outfalls discharging into the wetland

Two outfalls discharge into the wetland that aims to improve water quality and a gravel beach for dogs entering the river, preventing soil erosion on banks

 

Ducks swimming in the river

Duck family swimming in the newly-meandered river