David Cheek, of the Friends of the Mimram kindly submitted the following Report.
Plenty of projects planned to improve the River Mimram are about to start. Improving the quality of this rare chalk stream, the wildlife and our accessibility to enjoy it. From Jan 23rd see what’s happening at www.beaneandmimrampartnership.org.
The Friends of the Mimram, in conjunction with the Herts Middx Wildlife Trust have developed a Catchment Management Plan to improve the river quality to help meet EU Water Framework Directive guidelines and this is being presented as a dynamic website, which will evolve as the projects come to fruition. The projects have been developed in consultation with other local conservation groups, parish councils, Welhat Borough Council, HCC and the Environment Agency.
One of the projects will start in Singlers Marsh this winter. Chalk streams should have crystal clear water flowing over gravel. After years of low flows, silt has built up to 2’ deep in the river at the top end and trees have overgrown keeping out the sunlight which stops vegetation growing. So HMWT have managed to get some funding for an Environment Agency plan to dig out the silt from a section of the river opposite the Vineyards and replace it with gravel, while also pollarding some trees to let in the light. The Friends of the Mimram will also clear some of the scrub away form the river bank and maintain a footpath along the river so that we can enjoy it. Meanwhile the Friends will also continue the work near Singlers Bridge to narrow the river slightly to increase the flow and achieve the same effect.
If the trial is successful, it will be extended upstream when more funds become available. More information on http://www.friendsofthemimram.co.uk/improvements.html.
All this assumes there will be water in the river – but we will have to keep on lobbying to achieve that. See the latest on the Friends website http://www.friendsofthemimram.co.uk/campaign.html