45. Luton Hoo

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


  • Improve existing wildlife corridors
  • Control or eradicate invasive non-native species
  • Increase the amount and quality of habitat

Project description

This project will improve the health and habitat of the river which is being impacted by silt and pollutants that are generated further upstream.

The River Lea runs through the grounds of Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf and Spa which is operated by Elite Hotels. The river runs through two 'on-line' lakes which sit within the Grade II* Registered Park and Garden which were created in the 18th century and designed by Lancelot 'Capability' Brown. The lakes also perform a community function with two community groups operating from the lakes – the Sea Scouts and Sea Cadets.

The partners are aware that silt and pollutants generated further upstream from urban growth in Luton have historically and continue to have a detrimental impact on the River Lea. In particular impacting fish, invertebrates, flow, morphology and some physiochemical elements, upstream, through and downstream of Luton Hoo. In addition, the build-up of silt in the online lakes negatively impacts the character of the designed landscape. A number of studies have been carried out in the past to explore options to address issues, but the lack of available funding has meant that none of this work has been able to be developed toward a deliverable, defined and detailed solution.

The catchment partnership wishes to carry out a comprehensive feasibility study to identify the most practicable option/s to address the issues and to prepare a costed action plan which can be used to seek funding for the implementation of the works.

Project lead: Central Bedfordshire Council
Project partners: Central Bedfordshire Council, Elite Hotels, Environment Agency

Design by LTD Design Consultants and build by Garganey Consulting.