Rickmansworth panto star takes time out to visit a local river

Press ReleaseUpdated: 20 December 2023Environment and Climate Emergency

Wildlife loving TV presenter Naomi Wilkinson, star of Watersmeet’s Sleeping Beauty, has taken time out of her busy pantomime schedule to visit Taylor’s Cut, a man-made river channel that flows through the Bury Grounds in Rickmansworth.

Taylor’s Cut is a part of the river Colne, a chalk stream which is a globally rare habitat and considered to be the most botanically diverse type of river in the UK, containing a wide variety of life. The Bury Grounds is a 4.1 hectare greenspace, once the grounds of the Bury House.

Naomi joined Jess Hodges, Three Rivers District Council's Community Biodiversity Officer and Lara Clements, who works for Groundwork South and with the Colne Valley Regional Park as a Rivers Officer for the Colne Catchment, to assist with a survey they were conducting to discover some of the species living in the river channel which indicate the quality of the habitat and water. The survey unearthed a broad variety of riverflies - invertebrates that spend all or part of their life cycle in a river, stream, pond or lake - indicating that the water quality is good.

Cllr Jon Tankard, Lead Member for Sustainability and Climate said: “Along with other freshwater invertebrates, riverflies are at the heart of the freshwater ecosystem and are a vital link in the aquatic food chain. The purpose of riverfly monitoring is to understand the water quality of our rivers, to gain a further understanding of riverfly populations and conserve their habits.”

Naomi, who is a President for the Young People’s Trust for the Environment, said: “Sadly, these rare and precious chalk stream habitats are under threat from water pollution, and over-abstraction. If we really want to protect our rivers and chalk streams we must reduce water usage where possible; don’t litter; reduce usage of household chemicals where possible; collect rainwater for use in the garden; plant native species in your garden or volunteer.”

To get involved with nature in your local area visit: https://www.threerivers.gov.uk/services/environment-climate-emergency/biodiversity#Nature%20conservation%20volunteering%20opportunities