Thames - North East Area

River Chess Association

Coordinator  Stephen Webster  05/01/12 Sites     River Chess (7) Team     4 Activity  2009 The association was formed in 2009 in response to growing concerns about the environmental pressures facing the river. There are 4 trained AMI monitors sampling 7 sites. The flow on the upper river is erratic but downstream is better, supplemented by a large sewage works.

Tewin Fly Fishers

Coordinator  Chris Mungovan  05/01/12 Sites       River Mimram (1) Team      3 Activity   2008 Our group has sampled one site on the river Mimram near the village of Tewin in Hertfordshire every two months since July 2008. We have three trained volunteers who sample an area  that is not accessed by cattle nor the general public. The site chosen has a mixture of shallow water, deep water, fast and slow flows, good weed growth in summer, little or none in winter and it is approximately 50 percent shaded by trees in summer. We were pleasantly surprised to find that we had small stoneflies which were discovered within the first six months of sampling and are difficult to find as they cling to the undersides of small pieces of woody debris from marginal sediment.  Our members are surprised by the plentiful supply of food for fish and also of its small size. Our group became involved because our catchment is over abstracted and consequently our river suffers low flows in periods of moderate drought due to the close proximity of water company boreholes. Despite the fact that we have a chalk stream with good water quality, brown trout, grayling, mayflies and a high HAB score our river was inexplicably categorised as of bad ecological quality by the Environment Agency in their River Basin Management Plan assessment for the European Water Framework Directive. Our catch returns and AMI results are therefore important for benchmarking. Our group is also involved with the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust’s water voles and wetlands project. We are monitoring mink rafts and have recently planted a new sedge bed.