5. Restoring the River Ash

Theme: Ecology and biodiversity


  • Enhance the river’s morphology
  • Improve the ecological health of the river bed and banks
  • Enhance and restore floodplain habitats

Project description

A landscape scale restoration project to improve six kilometres of the River Ash, from Widford to Amwell.

Chalk rivers like the Ash are a unique and globally important habitat. In good condition, they support some of our country's most vulnerable wildlife including water vole, otter and wild brown trout, and are a haven for other interesting creatures like mayfly, heron and barbel.

Sadly the Ash along with many other chalk rivers across the South East are not in top condition. The Ash is classed as "Poor" status by the Environment Agency, owing to problems caused through historic dredging, artifical barriers like weirs and low flows.

In partnership with the Easneye Estate, the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust and Environment Agency, are working towards improving the River Ash so that its habitats are brought back to good condition to help its wildlife thrive again.

Project Progress

Following development of a restoration plan in 2019, Five Rivers Ltd. were commissioned in 2020 to prepare detailed designs for a scheme that will improve 6 kilometres of river and sections of floodplain.

Designs were completed in early 2021 and we are actively seeking funding to deliver the restoration project in phases over the coming years.

Detailed surveying will be undertaken to ensure that we can monitor the health of the river and its wildlife before / after works to improve it. A copy of the baseline ecological report and monitoring plan can be found by following the links.

Please contact Sarah Perry, Living Rivers Officer, if you would like to discuss opportunities to support this project.

Project lead: Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust
Project partners: Easneye Estate, Environment Agency
Funding source: Seeking funding for delivery
Project start: 2018
Contact for more information: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Design by LTD Design Consultants and build by Garganey Consulting.