11. Old River Lea Barbel Project

Theme: Ecology and morphology


  • Improve riverine and riparian habitat
  • Improve river function and sustainability

Project description

A barbel special interest group has been formed to identify and address issues in the Old River Lea in order to restore a self sustaining population of barbel. 

Barbel is a fish species native to the River Lea. Barbel is a good indicator of river health and their diverse habitat requirements means that if the river supports a self sustaining barbel population it will also provide the habitats required for the wider biodiversity that should be present within the river. Barbel is also an important fish for angling, the River Lea is a historic site for barbel fishing, and is mentioned in Isaak Walton's iconic 18th century book 'The Compleat Angler'. There has been a percieved decline in barbel stocks within the Old River Lea reported by anglers which is supported by historic survey data. 


In response to this a barbel special interest sub group has been formed by members of the Lower Lea Catchment Partnership with the overall aim of restoring a self sustaining barbel population within the Old River Lea. The group will achieve this by;

  • Reviewing the current state of barbel habitat within the Old River Lea.
  • Identifying threats to barbel stocks and proposing solutions.
  • Identifying priorities for barbel habitat creation and enhancement.
  • Agreeing an action plan for the partnership to work towards.   
  • Delivering planned actions.
  • Monitoring and reviewing project outcomes. 
Project partners: HMWT, LVRPA, Environment Agency, Fishers Green Consortium, Kings Weir Fishery
Funding source: To be confirmed
Project start: April 2017
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.