Case study:MisbourneRiverAction

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Location: 51° 38' 47", -0° 34' 36"
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Project overview

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Status In progress
Project web site
Themes Environmental flows and water resources, Flood risk management, Habitat and biodiversity, Monitoring, Social benefits, Water quality
Country England
Main contact forename Bob
Main contact surname Older
Main contact user ID
Contact organisation local volunteers
Contact organisation web site
Partner organisations Chalfont St Peter & St Giles Parish Councils; Chiltern Society; Chiltern Conservation Board
Parent multi-site project
This is a parent project
encompassing the following
Clearing The Mill Leat at Chalfont St Giles

Project summary

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We are a friendly, very informal and sociable network with a common interest in improving the river environment, mainly working downstream of Amersham and through Chalfont St Giles and St Peter although very much involved in groundwater and invertebrates studies along the full length. Our goals are to see the river flowing freely, the channel cleared and maintained in an environmentally friendly way and the river corridor free of litter. We started our work in 2008 and made good steady progress all the way through to late summer 2011 when the many months of well below average rainfall caused an irresistible retreat of the river back above Chalfont St Giles. The last three years have been very successful with good flows for much of the time. We work closely with the Chiltern Conservation Board, the Parish Councils, Affinity Water and others to preserve and enhance the river environment in the longer term and with greater reliability of flow. We have undertaken numerous working parties to remove debris and undergrowth and generally ease and optimise the flow. We have secured interest and support for these aims through various publicity and involvement with, for instance, the Parish Councils, Chalfont St Peter Feast Day and Chalfont St Giles Fair. Rotary Club, The Scouts and schools. We don’t have meetings or “officers” but occasionally some of us gather for a chat - we call them " not-a-meetings" - in a pub. Regular, “organised” work parties happen on Sundays, sometimes Saturdays, every 5 weeks or so, while others prefer to meet up during the week or just to work on their own when the fancy takes them. Some people have volunteered to “adopt” a short stretch of river. We do have insurance, some tools, gloves, hi-vis, waders and use of a trailer. Our "membership" includes a delightful mix of people from ages 7 to 70(+). Working with us involves giving up an hour or several, frequently or occasionally, to get dirty, often wet, sometimes scratched (brambles) or stung (nettles). Our e-mail circular goes to over 200 homes representing 300 supporters but, typically, a work day will see around twenty. We don't "require" any commitment - some people come for an hour once a year; some work for hours at almost every opportunity, and some are happy to support us from the sidelines or do the occasional litter pick. Recent circular e-mails can be found under "From the Riverbank" on the website - - where they are archived along with lots of other river stuff .

Monitoring surveys and results

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Lessons learnt

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Catchment and subcatchment


River basin district Thames
River basin Colne


River name Misbourne
Area category 10 - 100 km²
Area (km2)
Maximum altitude category 200 - 500 m
Maximum altitude (m) 269
269 m
0.269 km
26,900 cm
Dominant geology Calcareous
Ecoregion Great Britain
Dominant land cover Arable and Horticulture
Waterbody ID GB106039029830


WFD water body codes GB106039029830
WFD (national) typology
WFD water body name Misbourne
Pre-project morphology
Reference morphology
Desired post project morphology
Heavily modified water body No
National/international site designation
Local/regional site designations
Protected species present No
Invasive species present No
Species of interest
Dominant hydrology
Dominant substrate
River corridor land use
Average bankfull channel width category
Average bankfull channel width (m)
Average bankfull channel depth category
Average bankfull channel depth (m)
Mean discharge category
Mean annual discharge (m3/s)
Average channel gradient category
Average channel gradient
Average unit stream power (W/m2)

Project background

Reach length directly affected (m)
Project started 2008/01/01
Works started
Works completed
Project completed
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Total cost (k€)
Benefit to cost ratio
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Cost for project phases

Phase cost category cost exact (k€) Lead organisation Contact forename Contact surname
Investigation and design
Stakeholder engagement and communication
Works and works supervision
Post-project management and maintenance

Reasons for river restoration

Mitigation of a pressure
Hydromorphology Channel pattern/planform, Freshwater flow regime
Other reasons for the project


Structural measures
Bank/bed modifications
Floodplain / River corridor
Planform / Channel pattern Improvement of channel morphology, Removal of channel blockages
Non-structural measures
Management interventions
Social measures (incl. engagement)


Hydromorphological quality elements

Element When monitored Type of monitoring Control site used Result
Before measures After measures Qualitative Quantitative

Biological quality elements

Element When monitored Type of monitoring Control site used Result
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Physico-chemical quality elements

Element When monitored Type of monitoring Control site used Result
Before measures After measures Qualitative Quantitative

Any other monitoring, e.g. social, economic

Element When monitored Type of monitoring Control site used Result
Before measures After measures Qualitative Quantitative

Monitoring documents

Additional documents and videos

Additional links and references

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Supplementary Information

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