29. Fencing the river between Digswell and Welwyn
Theme: Water Quality, Habitats and Wildlife
- That whatever the flow level, the river and its associated habitats, including banks and floodplains, are managed to support chalk stream species
- That water quality, temperature and river bed quality are such that they support chalk stream ecology
To fence off the river, in order to limit erosion of the bank and sedimentation due to stock grazing, and to protect bankside vegetation and wildlife
Grazing by stock can cause a number of problems for chalk streams. They can directly erode the bank, increasing the amount of sediment and silt entering the channel. Their waste can also pollute the channel directly, and grazing of the bank can damage habitat. Fencing off the river and providing a set access point for drinking can easily prevent these problems.
This stretch of river is valuable for water voles. By fencing off the river, bankside vegetation will be protected from grazing and will be able to develop. This will benefit water voles by increasing the habitat available to them for feeding and shelter.