30. Source of the Houghton Brook

Themes: Community engagement and participation; Promoting appropriate and sympathetic land management


  • Increase public access to and involvement in the river
  • Promote the river as a community and educational resource
  • Improve existing wildlife corridors

Project description

The source of the Houghton Brook lies within Houghton Hall Park which has recently undergone extensive improvements supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. However, the source of the river, on the edge of the park, is overgrown, neglected and invisible.

A consultation held in May 2019 received 109 responses with over 96% supporting the aim of improving this section of river. The reasons identified were, amongst others; that they didn't know it was there, to make it more visible, cleaner, to enhance the area, that it had been wasted for decades and that this improvement would enhance the recent good work within the park supported via Lottery.

The work to be undertaken includes the following.

  • Recreate a natural bank profile
  • Create viewing area with seating
  • Increase biodiversity of river and adjacent area.
  • Open up tree canopy to increase light levels into river corridor which will help improve opportunities for desirable species supporting improved water quality.
  • Introduce art features and interpretation

The resulting benefits of the project are an improved site from the point of view of biodiversity, particularly through increasing the amount of light to the water but also reprofiling) and for the community through a more pleasant and accessible landscape to view and sit by.

Alongside the physical benefits there will be improved knowledge of the management of rivers through information and publicity including explanation of the need for tree removal prior to the work taking place. We also intend to have a celebration event on completion to encourage the community to visit and we will arrange a range of activities to take place linking into the existing programme of events in the area

We are currently fundraising for the final funds required and the work is out to tender with implementation planned for autumn 2020 after nesting season has ended.

Project lead: Groundwork East
Project partners: Central Bedfordshire Council, Environment Agency, Houghton Regis Town Council
Funding source: Environment Agency and local grants
Project start: February 2019
Project end: December 2020
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.