River Ver

The Ver is a chalk river beginning in the Chiltern Hills close to the Bedfordshire/Hertfordshire border near the village of Kensworth Lynch. The Ver flows for approximately 16 miles through Markyate, Redbourn, and St Albans before joining the River Colne near Bricket Wood. The Ver has one tributary, the River Red, which joins just south of Redbourn.

Problems facing the River Ver

The River Ver suffers from a range of problems. Parts of the channel are heavily over shaded, blocking the natural light needed to sustain the flora and fauna of a chalk river. Much of the channel has been artificially modified, over-straightened, and diverted from its original course. Parts of the Ver are heavily silted and flows are often sluggish and stagnant. The flows in the river are also impacted by abstraction which is used to for public water supply. The Environment Agency have been working with water companies since 1993 to reduce abstraction from the catchment. Most recently Affinity ceased abstraction from the pumping station near St Albans in 2016, and have further reductions planned December 2024.

Case Study: New Barnes Mill

The weir at New Barnes Mill was built to serve the historic mill set on this section of the river. The mill had been disused for a number of years and the weir was damaging river wildlife.
Revitalising Chalk Rivers worked alongside the land owners to remove the weir and complete in-channel improvements. We removed some of the brick sided river bank, increasing the amount of natural river bank for plants and wildlife. We improved around 50 metres of the channel and installed berms – a kind of natural shelf within the river – to narrow the river in order to provide areas for fish to spawn and help increase flow diversity.
The weir removal improved channel flow, allowed fish to migrate upstream, and restored natural chalk river features back to this section of the Ver.

If you’d like to find out even more, follow the link to the Catchment Partnership website for the River Colne Catchment or view the management plan for the River Ver.

Ver New Barnes Mill After 360New Barnes Mill after improvements

Design by LTD Design Consultants and build by Garganey Consulting.