14. River Restoration at Hornsmill Weir
Theme: Ecology and biodiversity
- Improve the river’s morphology
- Improve bankside and in-channel habitat
Repairing the river banks and improving habitat for wildlife and residents of Hornsmill Association.
The Hornsmill Resident Association has riparian rights for some 500 metres of riverbank downstream of the Hornsmill Weir in Hertford, with the river sitting between a number of properties along its right bank and open grazing pasture on its left.
In 2021, particular issues with erosion were identified on a stretch of around 50 metres immediately downstream of the weir. As stewards of the river, the Association set up a project to address this issue, as well as enhance ecology of the river more generally.
In 2022, Five Rivers were appointed to develop a green-engineering solution to the bank erosion problem, as well as make wider habitat improvements to support wildlife, including a colony of water vole.
Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust supported development of the designs and the Environment Agency provided some funding for habitat improvements.
In March 2023, work was completed which included soft protection for the eroding banks (re-grading and willow inoculation) and introduction of seven woody habitat features which will become colonised by aquatic plants.
A management plan has been prepared by the Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust for the Association to maintain the river going forwards.