5. Restoring the River Ash

Theme: Ecology and biodiversity


  • Enhance the river’s morphology
  • Improve the ecological health of the river bed and banks
  • Enhance and restore floodplain habitats

Project description

A landscape scale restoration project to improve six kilometres of the River Ash, from Widford to Amwell.

Chalk rivers like the Ash are a unique and globally important habitat. In good condition, they support some of our country's most vulnerable wildlife including water vole, otter and wild brown trout, and are a haven for other interesting creatures like mayfly, heron and barbel.

Sadly the Ash along with many other chalk rivers across the South East are not in top condition. The Ash is classed as "Poor" status by the Environment Agency, owing to problems caused through historic dredging, artifical barriers like weirs and low flows.

In partnership with the Easneye Estate, the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust and Environment Agency, are working towards improving the River Ash so that its habitats are brought back to good condition to help its wildlife thrive again. In 2018 a restoration plan for the river was developed.

Project Progress

  • Over the course of 2020, Five Rivers were brought on board to develop this plan into designs that will improve 6 kilometres of river and sections of floodplain.
  • From 2022, work will begin to deliver the river restoration scheme in sections, as funding allows.
  • Detailed ecological surveying will also be undertaken tas part of the scheme.  A copy of the baseline ecological report and monitoring plan are shown here.

This work is being partially funded by DEFRA's Green Recovery Challenge Fund.

We are seeking extra funding to deliver the remaining restoration work from 2022 onwards.

Please contact the project lead if you would like to support this project.


Project lead: Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust
Project partners: Easneye Estate, Environment Agency
Funding source: Seeking funding for delivery
Project start: 2018
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.