River Chess in Chesham – 11 August 2019

Today we had a great turnout to tackle an overgrown section of the River Chess in Chesham. If this work had not been carried out there would have been the possibility of flooding issues during flash storms or when the river starts flowing again.

Millfields Tributary – 17 June 2019

On Sunday 16th June the Chesham Environmental Group carried a number of projects in and around the River Chess in Waterside. Number one priority was clearing a channel through the weeds on the Millfields tributary. This will allow the water to flow freely and reduce the chances of flooding. Volunteers also litter picked the surrounding area. Another major task was the cutting back of overgrowth on an important footpath on The Chess Valley Walk.

Before worked started

Work underway

Water flowing freely

Chess Valley Walk before being cleared

After clearance


River Chess Bypass – 19 May 2019

A very busy morning for the Environmental Group around Canon’s Mill in Waterside. We managed to clear the bypass channel of many blockages including encroaching watercress and much debris. This will improve the flow of water and help the passage of both fish and invertebrates. The pathway alongside the river was made more accessible by cutting back overhanging branches and we also found the time to plant some yellow flag iris. They will help secure the riverbank and, once established, improve the look of the river.

Work Starts on our New River Chess Project

Sunday 20 January marked the start of our new project to clear the River Chess of invasive vegetation and litter all the way from The Queens Head to Canon’s Mill and beyond. We had a great turnout of volunteers to remove weed, fallen branches and leaves and an unusual amount of old tennis balls. More sections will be cleared over the next few months.

Planting Trees in Lowndes Park

The Chesham Enviromental Group joined forces with Chesham in Bloom and The Friends of Lowndes Park to plant over 150 saplings of native trees. We were very pleased to welcome some students from the Chesham Academy to help  both plant the trees and carry out a litter pick of the park. They were invited by the Mayor of Chesham, Jane MacBean, who is a member of the Environmental Group. The morning proved to be very successful despite a period of heavy rain.

Berkhampstead Field Community Meadow

When cattle grazing on the field ceased in 2008, Chesham Town Council took over the grass cutting, initially adopting the same practice as on the adjacent Nash Recreation Field in Chesham. It soon became clear that we had an excellent opportunity to see how the flora and fauna of this field would develop as chalk grassland, providing an appropriate cutting regime was implemented. So after detailed discussion we started a management strategy in 2011 which required one late cut in September, but importantly collecting and removing the cuttings from the field.

The field produced such a rich flora and fauna in its first trial year in 2010 than it was assessed in 2011 and found to meet the criteria for designation as a Local Wildlife Site. Since then the field has been monitored on a regular basis and an impressive range flora and fauna have been recorded, including over 100 plant species, 20 moth species and 18 butterfly species.

As long as we maintain the ‘late cut’ grass cutting and collecting each year, the flora and fauna should keep improving.

The management is a partnership approach with Chesham Town Council doing the bulk of the management, but guided by the Chesham & District Natural History Society (CDNHS) and supported by the Chesham Environmental Group (CEG). Usually there will be at least two CEG work parties during the year to carry out environmental enhancement tasks on the chalk grassland and to the hedging surrounding the site.

It is a very rewarding project to be involved with but there is no doubt we would benefit from more species recorders and more helpers to assist with the regular maintenance tasks.

There’ll be more opportunities to make Chesham a better place to live – feel free to come and join us! See our events page for more information.

River Clean Up at the Swim & Gym

On Wednesday 25 July the Environmental Group joined forces with the River Chess Association to carry out some flood relief work. Weed was cleared from the channel that runs past the Swim & Gym in Moor Road.

River Chess Bypass

On Sunday 15 April the Group cleared the Canon’s Mill bypass of all blockages to ensure the water flows freely. Volunteers also cleared the footpaths of encroaching vegetation and overhanging branches making access easier for all.

Meades Water Gardens & Duck Alley








The Chesham Environmental Group had a very successful morning carrying out vital improvements to the River Chess as it flows through Meades Water Gardens. We managed to improve its flow, create river viewing points and cutback overhanging vegetation. We also carried out a litter pick of both the river and the surrounding area.