Maidenhead Ditch

The South East Rivers Trust is holding a community drop-in for the public to hear about the Maidenhead Ditch River Habitat Improvement Scheme, on Thursday 6th June 2024.

Residents are welcome to join us from 1pm to 6.30pm at Cookham Moor, at the National Trust Car Park, SL6 9SG.

The aim of the project is to enhance the river habitat of the Maidenhead Ditch in Cookham, Berkshire, to better support wildlife and provide better amenity benefits for the community.

We will be showcasing our plans to improve three water bodies – Marsh Meadow, Strand Water and Fleet Ditch, with the aim to ultimately help them reach Good Ecological Status under the Water Framework Directive (WFD) classification.

Residents will have the chance to learn how the project proposes to improve low water flows and habitat in Marsh Meadows, to help wildlife thrive. Water voles area already known to be present in this area and the project’s proposals would improve their habitat.

Maidenhead Ditch
Maidenhead Ditch

Plans at Fleet Ditch include coppicing and selected felling of trees which will be reused in the river channel to vary the water’s flow, bringing benefits for fish and invertebrates. Cutting back trees would also bring more daylight to the waterway, allowing vegetation to flourish as it should.

Proposals for Strand Water, which is over-widened, include creating wetter marginal areas. They also include adding berms that protrude from the edge of the banks and large wooden deflectors into the water, to vary the flow and provide varied conditions for aquatic life to exploit. Improvements will maintain water levels in winter, making this beneficial to wildlife all year round.

The project is being carried out with South East Water as part of its Water Industry National Environment Programme (WINEP) programme commitments.