On Friday 14 July, Watford Riverwell kick-started the clean-up of the River Colne with a community clean-up event. The clean-up included local school children, the Mayor of Watford, Baroness Dorothy Thornhill, Watford Riverwell partners and local environment campaigners to begin cleaning up the stretch of the River Colne, which runs through the Watford Riverwell site. We also learnt some important lessons about healthy river ecosystems and how to work safely within them.
The clean-up forms a major part of the partners’ plans for Watford Riverwell in order to restore the river’s habitats, which have been subjected to years of industrial use and rubbish tipping. Once the clean-up is complete, this area will be transformed into a new green open space for the whole community to enjoy.
The river and the surrounding area has been subjected to years of intensive industrial use and rubbish tipping. The clean up forms a major part of the partners’ plans for Watford Riverwell in order to restore the river’s habitats and to create new green open spaces for the community to enjoy.
The event marked the start of this improvement work and included:
- A fun and informative session for Laurance Haines School’s ‘eco warriors’ who found out why healthy
rivers are so important to our environment and what safety precautions must be taken whilst working
close to the river.
- Local charity Watford on the Water, led by Watford resident, Sandy Belloni, completed a
demonstration on how his team will go about clearing debris and rubbish that has built up in the River
- A litter pick on the banks of the river, led by partners and volunteers who together cleared a skip load
Baroness Dorothy Thornhill, Elected Mayor of Watford said:
“The River Colne is one of our town’s two much-loved rivers and so is very special to local people. I am delighted that through Watford Riverwell we now have a fantastic opportunity to clean up this stretch of the river. It will be an exciting new open space for the people of Watford to enjoy as well as a wonderful haven for wildlife and nature. The plans for the scheme are really taking shape now and it is clear to see that the river will be a major part of the Watford Riverwell community – so it will really be living up to its new name.
“It is great to already have our local enthusiasts getting on board and I am sure there will be many more who will enjoy working with us to champion the river.”
Pip Prongue, managing director (South) for Kier Property, Watford Council’s development partner on the Watford Riverwell project said: “The big community clean-up of the river area this summer is part of the work that the partnership has been engaged in for some time to clean up the area, improve the River Colne and enhance the open space on the site.”
Watford Riverwell is an ambitious long-term scheme which will be completed over a 15 to 20-year period and is the largest mixed-use regeneration project in Watford. Last week, around 100 local residents attended a public exhibition organised by the partnership over two days showcasing the latest plans for the Waterside area of the development.