River Misbourne – Habitat enhancement

Works involved the creation of an access beach to the River Misbourne, re-profiling of the channel at two sites of the river and the creation of a backwater for the River Colne


Project Brief

In late 2017, Cain Bio-Engineering tendered for and obtained the assignment of an enhancement project for the rivers Misbourne and Colne run by the Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, and Oxford Wildlife Trust (BBOWT).

The project took place within the Denham Country Park, as part of a habitat improvement initiative to benefit watervoles, trout, and other native species. The aim of the project being, to provide the wider community with a place of learning and understanding of river ecosystems in the UK.

Project Enhancement Features

The enhancement works involved the creation of an access beach to the River Misbourne, re-profiling of the channel at two sites of the river and the creation of a back water for the River Colne.

Access Beach

Located on the north end of the park, the access beach was created as a safe space for children to enter the river and learn about the ecosystem

Channel Re-profiling

Using woody debris and gravel recovered from the project, we introduced a series of pools and riffles on two sites of the Misbourne.  This allows the river to recover sinuosity and the flow velocities appropriate to a healthy riparian ecosystem.

Backwater Creation

A wildflower meadow adjacent to the river was cleared, and excavated to become a backwater to the river. The land around it was prepared to allow the regrowth of vegetation and remain an aesthetically pleasing feature for the park.

The material excavated for the creation of the backwater, along with additional site-won woody debris, was used make berms along the adjacent western bank of the River Colne.