30. Houghton Brook feasibility study

Themes: Community engagement and participation; Promoting appropriate and sympathetic land management; Improving water quality and water quantity


  • Increase public access to and involvement in the river
  • Reduce flood risk
  • Improve existing wildlife corridors
  • Control or eradicate invasive non-native species
  • Increase the amount and quality of habitat
  • Reduce pollution through physical improvements around the river
  • Work together to investigate and implement solutions to manage and minimise sources of pollution

Project description

A feasibility project is being undertaken at Houghton Brook with the potential for practical implementation work to be carried out if funding for this element can be secured.

Groundwork has secured funding from the Environment Agency to explore the creation of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) at key sites connected and adjacent to the River Lea, to better manage surface water run-off (slowing the rate at which rainfall finds its way into watercourses), the build-up of damaging silt and to improve the health of the river.

Groundwork, the Environment Agency, Central Bedfordshire Council and Houghton Regis Town Council are undertaking this feasibility study along the Brook to look at what's there and what works, any issues/hotspots such as surface water and what could be done both along the water course and more widely to improve the river for people and for wildlife.

In June 2017 the partners walked the length of the Brook and discussed potential opportunities. Groundwork is drawing up improvements to the Brook which has been split into three sections for ease of management/reference.

Potential improvements include: opening up the source of the river visually, possibly with regrading / terracing / vegetation management; installing a rain garden by the Pavilion (sited right next to the source of the river); vegetation clearance / thinning along brook as appropriate; and input into consultation for future development of stretch alongside river corridor to include inclusion of buffer zone and tree works as part of development scheme.

Groundwork has put together a costed proposal and has commissioned local organisations to undertake topographical and habitat surveys.

Project lead: Groundwork Luton & Bedfordshire
Project partners: Environment Agency, Houghton Regis Town Council and Central Bedfordshire Council
Funding source: Environment Agency
Project start: January 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.