The warm December has encouraged the stumps of the hedgerow that was cut down along the bus link to regrow. This is hawthorn but the leaves of blackthorn and field maple are also visible. Spring is in the air!
In the stream the weed is already beginning to grow too. A lot of other things have changed since I last looked too! The borrow pit below has filled with water and wildlife is making itself at home. A mute swan appears to have found something to feed on, and flocks of black headed and black backed gulls seem quite at home next to the M1.
Further west towards the town centre, work has been done to trim the hedges bordering the stream, but sadly vandals have taken the opportunity to use it as a dumping ground again.
We can do something about this eyesore by banding together and working with CBC and Groundwork to care for the stream and keep it clear of rubbish like this. As Houghton Brook starts in the town centre adjacent to Houghton Hall Park, and is already part of their regeneration programme, it is likely the Friends of Houghton Brook will join with the Friends of Houghton Hall Park to clean up and protect the stream all the way from its source at the pavilion, through Parkside and HRN1 to where it goes under the M1 to Luton. So wherever you live in Houghton Regis, you can help in the area nearest to you.
Will you become a friend of the stream too? The health of the stream is important both for our welfare, safety from flooding, and the welfare of the wildlife living there and further downstream. But it needs active helpers to keep an eye open for anything amiss and report it.