Hughenden Stream Projects

Hughenden Stream Upstream of Manor Grounds
Hughenden Stream © A. Beechey
  1. Possible removal of the Environment Agency’s gauging station at the lower end of the Stream which is a barrier to fish migration up the Hughenden Stream.

  2. Potential for some small scale works to improve diversity such as small in channel riffles, bank re-profiling, fencing and field buffer strips.

  3. “The Hughenden Stream at Hughenden Manor has been extensively modified historically as part of the landscaping of the grounds by Benjamin Disraeli in the 19th Century and has a history of low flows. Several sections have been artificially widened and weirs constructed to create a series of ponds. The weirs were originally constructed of large rocks but were enlarged and rebuilt in the early 1980’s. These weirs are no longer functioning as originally intended, are promoting sediment deposition, and present barriers to wildlife recolonisation after droughts. Between the ponds though the natural gravel bed is visible, the channel is over-wide and flow is diffuse and shallow. Road run-off introduces pollution and sediment to the stream at several locations, reducing water quality and smothering the gravel bed. Consequently, species diversity and abundance has been adversely affected.

    To address these issues, the National Trust, Chilterns Chalk Streams Project and Environment Agency have developed a scheme to restore the stream, which is currently the subject of a bid to the Water Environment Grant fund. The proposed scheme involves: modification, removal and/or bypass of 6 weirs to remove impoundment, restore gradient, and facilitate fish passage; historic, rock 'weirs' adapted to create more permeable structures with flow focussed in central channel locations; banks reprofiled to create narrow low flow channel with more natural cross-section, within current channel footprint; SUD systems constructed and historic online 'ponds' adapted to intercept road run-off and create wetland habitat; grazing access restricted to promote development of marginal habitat; access points created to manage erosion; visitors engaged to encourage responsible behaviour and minimise disturbance to wildlife; and tree work programme to increase light levels reaching the stream.

    The scheme will restore a more natural, resilient chalk stream with improved water quality, supporting a more diverse range of habitats and species.”
Projects Map
EA Gauging Station
Small scale works