Waterway restoration

Hoffer BrookHoffer Brook Restoration Project

Our work includes river restoration to improve water quality and habitats for wildlife.

The latest Water for Wildlife reports from Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire are now available.

As part of our work in the wider countryside, we help landowners to improve river habitats. Healthier watercourses provide flood control for people and help wildlife. 

Restoring waterways can create a greater diversity of habitats for invertebrates and aquatic insects. It helps fish to move and spawn, which in turn provides more food for birds such as kingfishers. It can also reduce sediment levels and improve bankside plants. We use a variety of management techniques to improve rivers, including laying gravel, rebuilding and reprofiling banks, carrying out tree work, and installing cattle drinks.

Waterways surveys

We recently carried out several surveys to assess the populations of otters and water voles in Cambridgeshire waterways. A survey for signs of otters was conducted between December 2016 and February 2017. The survey covered all major watercourses in Cambridgeshire and many smaller ones as well to track the recovery of otters throughout Cambridgeshire, which has been a dramatic change over the years. 

Bourn Brook

The Bourn Free project has run since 2011, led by the Wildlife Trust and the Countryside Restoration Trust, in partnership with the Environment Agency. Our 2017 survey recorded signs of water vole, otter, Himalayan balsam and giant hogweed, repeating similar surveys from 2011 and 2014. 

Hoffer Brook

Read about one of our recent restoration projects at Hoffer Brook in South Cambridgeshire.This project was implemented by South Cambridgeshire District Council and the Wildlife Trust BCN with support and assistance from the Environment Agency and two landowners.

Find out more about the Save Our Waters Campaign by visiting their website or following them on Twitter at @CheckCleanDryGB.

Photos: otter (Jurgen Mangelsdorf); clearing Himalayn balsam in Bourn Brook (Fiona Gilsenan); baby brook lamprey spotted in Hoffer Brook (Sian Williams).



FilenameFile size
Hoffer Brook Report789.61 KB
Water for Wildlife Annual Report Cambs Jan2015-Jan2016259.87 KB
Water for Wildlife Annual Report Beds Mar2015-Jan20162.15 MB
Water for Wildlife Annual Report Beds Mar2014-Feb2015587.43 KB
Water for Wildlife Annual Report Cambs Mar2014-Mar2015376.49 KB
bourn Brook Survey 20175.16 MB
otter_survey_report_2017.pdf2.68 MB
wfw_annualreport_2017_cambspet.pdf1.44 MB
2017_anglian_water_report_beds.pdf2.08 MB