The Lower Misbourne Enhancement Project a partnership between Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust, Bucks County Council, the EA and the Wild Trout Trust came runner-up in the Canal & River Trust’s Living Waterways Awards (Natural Environment category) last night. They were pipped to first place by a very extensive £2 million green infrastructure project in Wales which saw a canal restored!
A kilometre of the Misbourne at Denham Country Park has been enhanced for the benefit of wild brown trout and its declining water vole population. The judges were particularly impressed with the project’s delivery of improved river access at the visitor centre which enables youngsters to safely and cleanly explore the river, whilst other more precious habitats have been protected behind brushwood hedges. A team of volunteers were led by the WTT’s Rob Mungovan over a period of two weeks, learning how to instal flow deflectors, create brushwood ledges and use hinge-cut trees for marginal cover.
The work didn’t stop there, an excavator was used to re-shape the river bed to create shallow riffles and new pool habitats, and a backwater habitat was created at the confluence of the nearby River Colne.