4. Wetlands for Waders in Widford

Theme: Ecology and biodiversity


  • Enhance and restore floodplain habitats

Project description

Restoring floodplain habitats of the Ash Valley near Widford.

Chalk rivers connected to good quality floodplain and wetland habitats are very important for wildlife. Some of our most iconic but threatened species depend on them to survive, such as water voles and wading birds like redshank, bittern and snipe. Yet across the UK we have lost 95% of natural wetlands and more than 10% of freshwater species now face the risk of extinction.

The Ash Valley below Widford provides a rare opportunity to reconnect the river with its floodplain and re-instate some natural wetland features.

Working with Easneye Estate, the Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust and Environment Agency

 This project will pull the fence line back along a spring fed ditch which discharges into the River Ash. This will enable a larger area of riparian vegetation to develop, creating habitat for insects and small mammals. A series of small weirs will be installed along the ditch, behind which small scrapes will be created which a graded back into the field. This will create fish refuges and also promote the overtopping of the ditch into the field during times of high groundwater, helping to restore the wetland habitat.



Project lead: Herts & MIddlesex Wildlife Trust
Project partners: Easneye Estate
Funding source: Environment Agency
Project start: 2015
Project end: 2015
Contact for more information: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The ditch in the meadow at Widford

Design by LTD Design Consultants and build by Garganey Consulting.