39. The Moor, New Bedford Road, Luton
Themes: Promoting appropriate and sympathetic land management; Improving water quality and water quantity
- Reduce flood risk
- Reduce pollution through physical improvements around the river
- Work together to investigate and implement solutions to manage and minimise sources of pollution
The Moor river improvement project is one of a number of projects that are taking place as part of the Revitalising Chalk Rivers partnership, in collaboration with the Environment Agency. These improvement works will help to restore and improve the habitat of chalk streams along the River Lea and rivers in other catchments.
The channel is generally over-wide, especially at the upstream end, and consequently sediment is deposited on the bed, smothering any gravel that may be present. This is a problem, as gravel is vital for the spawning of many fish species, such as trout, and also supports a wide range of invertebrates. The steep right bank requires re-profiling to allow plants to become established and to reduce the amount of silt entering the river. Furthermore, the trees on the left (east) bank over shade the river, restricting the growth of in-channel and marginal plants. Below is the proposed design for the river restoration.
What the project will achieve:
· naturalise the River Lea in Luton as much as possible;
· improve biodiversity in the river corridor;
· help the river meet the requirements of the Water Framework Directive;
· make the river more resilient to low-flows;
· carry out tree works and cut back overgrown trees, to allow sunlight to reach the river and its banks.
· reprofile the river banks and re-meander the river channel further into the park;
· create wetland areas and a backwater