River Restoration

At last! The Barrowcroft to Kingsmead River Wye Restoration!!

There are times that your resilience is tested. This has been one of the most challenging projects to get it done! For those of you who have known us for a long time ago, we first worked with Residents seven years ago when we identified the need for this section of the river to be restored both for wildlife and to stop the banks eroding away next to their common room. After many false starts and obstacles, all the stars aligned and we had to start and finish over a concentrated two weeks in February 2023.

Funding from the National Lottery’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund, detailed designs, Environment Agency Consents, landowner permissions and community consultations were all in place. At last!


Then the fun began! Two Hundred and Fifty Metres of River restored using natural materials harvested from local woodland. We built lots of different structures – berms, deflectors, tree sweepers and bank revetements. So satisfying to see the river change before our eyes as the structures started to scour the river bed and the berms begin to silt up.

The little egrets soon discovered the newly built berms and started hunting for food.

It was an incredible volunteer team effort with all ages helping from Steph’s New Shoots Young People Team to well, older ones among us! 130 volunteers from 15 different organisations, giving 600 hours of help. It shows the power of community and how many hands make light work– without your help, we would still be there banging in chestnut stakes with broken backs!

I really enjoyed working with Adrian Porter from the Chiltern Chalk Streams Project as we designed the river together and joined the build team during week 2. We are looking forward to running a couple of summer planting and litter picking sessions to finish off in June. Hope to see you there!

In the background, the process to get everything together to restore another section of the Wye begins!
Paul Stack
Community Projects Manager