Our long-term aim is to improve the River Lea to benefit the local communities, environment, and economy. There are many things a restored river could bring – educational opportunities, better health, improved wildlife and more.
We are making these benefits a reality by working together with local stakeholders. We believe that promoting joint action we will achieve greater benefits for people and the environment alike.
Themes and objectives
Community engagement and participation:
- improve local knowledge and understanding of the river and the issues facing it
- increase public access to and involvement in the river
- promote the river as a community and educational resource
- promote action to reduce households’ water consumption and pollution
Promoting appropriate and sympathetic land management:
- reduce flood risk
- improve existing wildlife corridors, especially for protected species
- control or eradicate invasive non-native species
- increase the amount and quality of habitats and species
Improving water quality and water quantity:
- reduce pollution through physical improvements around the river
- work together to investigate and implement solutions to manage and minimise sources of pollution
- educate the general public and local businesses about its role in water quality and quantity improvements
How it works
The Catchment Partnership has found a number of ways to achieve the above objectives through a variety of projects. These can include:
- a partnership project with a college or univeristy to build awareness of the importance of the river, or to create a marketing campaign to promote the Catchment Partnership - such as the LoveLea campaign with Univeristy of Bedfordshire students, Monitoring App, and LoveLEA art and design project with Barnfield College.
- working with local residents to reduce water pollution and wastage - like Only Rain Down the Drain, Water Wardens, and Affinity Water's plans.
- training teachers and providing educational resources to schools - find out more.
- engaging volunteers in a site clearance or improvement project, where they can learn new skills - for example the source of the River Lea project and Cowslip Meadow.
- running an employment and skills project to engage local people whilst they undertake practical improvements along the river, learning new skills to get them into employment - like Green Skills at Cowslip Meadow, Greening Up, and Green Skills at Riverside Park.
- running a team building day to conserve and improve a site or habitat along the river - such as the days held with Certsure and Galliford Try.
- engaging children to adults in the health of the river by training volunteers to monitor the health of the river - like RiverLUTiON and Junior River Wardens.
- regenerating an area along the river to increase public access, improve habitats, re-direct the course of the river.
- undertaking a feasibility study - like the one at Houghton Brook.
- improving habitats and wildlife, or reducing pollution, through Landscape Design and practical improvements - such as Wardown Lake improvements.
- working with a school to reduce their flood risk and improve habitats for wildlife - like the project at River Bank Primary School.
- improving water quality and quantity through Landscape Design and practical improvements - such as Leagrave Marsh improvements, Manor Road Park, Geomorphological works at Manor Road Park, and SuDS work.
- research into the causes and possible solutions of pollution - for example Luton Hoo Lake research and the Floating Boom at Luton Hoo Lakes.
The Catchment Partnership is keen to work with as many partners on as many projects as possible to achieve the above objectives. The Partnership welcomes ideas for projects and notify us of problems that need to be solved. Get in touch via the Contact Us page.