The Colne Valley Regional Park has worked with Spelthorne Council, The Environment Agency and Spelthorne Natural History Society to successfully re-naturalise the River Ash adjacent to Bronzefield Prison in Ashford. The project was designed and constructed by Five Rivers, a specialist river restoration contractor, in October 2020 which was the wettest October on record.
The project has enhanced over 0.5km of the river’s habitat for a range of aquatic wildlife, transforming the site to provide new habitats for fish, amphibians, invertebrates and waterfowl to thrive. Additionally, the River Ash was poorly connected to its natural floodplain which prevented it from expanding naturally at times when water levels rose. To reconnect the river and to restore some of the natural functions of the floodplain, we have installed two backwaters and a series of offline ponds.