29. Geomorphological works
Theme: Promoting appropriate and sympathetic land management
- Improve existing wildlife corridors
Working with the Environment Agency and landowners, Affinity Water is exploring opportunities for geomorphological improvements to the River Lea through Luton.
- To naturalise the River Lea in Luton as much as possible
- To improve biodiversity in the river corridor
- To help the river meet the requirements of the Water Framework Directive
- To make the river more resilient to low-flows
And, where possible:
- To improve the river as an amenity feature for residents
- To reduce the risk of flooding
The course of the River Lea through Luton has been changed over centuries, for example by being made straighter to provide water to mills or being diverted to allow for the construction of roads, houses and parks. The most extreme of these alterations was to place the river in a culvert in the town centre, after which it was then built upon.
Working with the Environment Agency and landowners, Affinity Water is exploring opportunities for geomorphological (physical habitat) improvements to the river through the town. The purpose of these projects is to naturalise the river as much as possible, for example by adding meanders to areas that have been straightened. This will not only help the river's biodiversity (i.e. mammals, fish, invertebrates and plants), which in turn will help the river meet the requirements of the Water Framework Directive, but will also make it more resilient to low-flows.
Furthermore, the risk of flooding from the river will be reduced where possible and opportunities will be taken to improve public amenity by allowing people to better engage with the river.
Find out more about the proposed works in Manor Road Park.