Monday, 6 June 2016

River Lea Catchment Partnership

Welcome to readers visiting from the link on the River Lea Catchment Partnership website and on the Houghton Hall Park Newsletter! 

Visitor numbers have increased substantially since those links were posted.  Thank you for your interest.  Do comment via the 'contact' link on the right.

To regular readers, have you visited the River Lea Catchment Partnership website yet?

Houghton Brook runs into the Luton Lea and is mentioned in the Management Plan of the Luton Lea website page.

To find Houghton Brook and the project, go to the link above, and on the 'Rivers' menu go to 'Luton Lea' which is first in the list, or click on the map.  Houghton Brook is the western most tributary of the River Lea.

Next click on 'Luton Lea Catchment Management Plan' and then 'Catchment Projects' and a map will open up showing coloured spots for the different projects run by Groundwork, the group responsible with partners for this section of the River Lea.  The purple ones are those that affect the whole catchment.  Click on purple 11 at the source of Houghton Brook by the Green and Houghton Hall Park, and read the exciting plans to improve the banks in that section alongside the park down to Park Road North, remove the silt and replace it with river-washed gravel and more.  There is also a mention on the plan of works to be done on the Houghton Hall Park newsletter to plant more trees on the north bank and sow wildflowers alongside the stream where it's mostly nettles at present. 

Golden gravel will replace silt
I am very grateful to Maddy Kershaw, Marketing and Communications Manager of Groundwork, that Houghton Brook has been adopted as a project of the Luton Lea, along with support from Julia Scott of CBC, the Environment Agency who made suggestions for improvement, and Alexe Rose of the Greensand Trust which runs the Friends of Houghton Hall Park now incorporating Friends of Houghton Brook!  (see for how to join) Maddy has written a letter in Luton on Sunday about what Groundwork is doing for the River Lea see below:

As Maddy says, 'the involvement of local people is key to the protection and preservation of the river' so if you live anywhere along Houghton Brook or the Luton Lea and want to be involved, do get in touch with Groundwork via the website.  One thing volunteers can do is learn to test the quality of the water, and the bio-diversity of the stream.  This is citizen science that anyone can do.  There's something for everyone in this project.

The may blossom this year has been wonderful, the scent filling the air and the songs of birds lifting the spirits despite the relentless noise and intrusion of the road works. 

Sadly I have not seen water voles this year although, like last year, evidence has been found that they are still in residence. 

Enjoy the summer and do something for wildlife!