32. Geomorphological works at Manor Road Park

Theme: Promoting appropriate and sympathetic land management


  • Improve existing wildlife corridors

Project description

Affinity Water is working with Luton Borough Council and local communities to improve the biodiversity and landscape of local chalk streams, a globally-rare habitat.


  • 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 purpose of this project 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.

There are concrete steps, a brick wall and metal railings on the right bank, which we plan to remove. The bank will also be altered to a gradual rise, together with a new path along the bank, enabling easier access to the river. The river will also be given some gentle meanders, which will improve the biodiversity and flow of the river.


To make space for the new river landscape, they will be moving the children's play area a short distance into the park. Affinity Water will take the opportunity to replace and refurbish some of the older equipment. The playground will be closed for the duration of the river restoration works from 19 February 2018 to mid May 2018.

A new landscape for the river, with
• an improved appearance
• enhanced opportunities to engage with the river
• better habitats for fish, plants, and invertebrates
• an increased capacity for high flows in the river, reducing the likelihood of flooding to local properties

Project lead: Affinity Water
Project partners: Environment Agency and landowners
Funding source: Affinity Water
Contact for more information: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This project is part of the Revitalising Chalk Rivers initiative

Revitalisaing Chalk Rivers logo

Design by LTD Design Consultants and build by Garganey Consulting.