15. Grange Paddocks
Themes: Flow; Habitats and wildlife; People
- To maintain sufficient flow to support a healthy river ecosystem
- To maintain and enhance the river's natural habitats and wildlife
- To increase people's awareness, appreciation, education and involvement
This project is to remove a weir and enhance the river for wildlife and people through Grange Paddocks in Bishop's Stortford.
Weirs were historically used to maintain artifical water levels, used to power mills and industry. Many remain on our rivers today yet serve no useful purpose. They pose a major barrier to fish who migrate up and down the river in search of food and shelter, as well as causing problems with siltation and habitat degradation upstream.
Hertfordshire County Council and the Environment Agency are working together to tackle a number of weirs along watercourses. The horseshoe weir in Grange Paddocks open space is one which is currently under review.
A feasibility study was completed in 2020 into the various options available to overcome the negative impacts of the weir. Full weir removal with upstream restoration works to the river banks was deemed the best option, delivering benefits to wildlife and flood risk. This will remove the last barrier to fish passage present on the Stort. Informal public access to the river will be maintained.
In the first half of 2021 detailed designs will be produced, alongside surveys including ecology (notably water voles) and assessments of buildability. The project is due to be construction ready from late 2021.
For more details please see the project newsletter.