The ColneCAN Conference 2022 was an engaging and enjoyable day spent at the De Vere Hotel, Latimer, overlooking the River Chess.

This was the 3rd ‘Annual’ conference although the last conference was in 2019. Having worked on some tough projects and mostly met over zoom, often in long dry complex meetings, everyone was delighted to meet in person.



Stewart Pomeroy, Groundwork South welcomed everyone to the day and a packed agenda curated by Richard James from the Environment Agency. The knowledge and enthusiasm of all the speakers made for fascinating presentations. First up were Lydia Ennis, Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust & Tony Booker Colne Valley Fisheries Consultative, a brilliant double act presenting on the Angling & Nature Conservation Project. Both were clearly delighted to be working together. Their main message being productive positive working relationships and the proactive Angling community. Fortunately, time did not allow Tony to digress much onto crayfish.

Next up: Joshua Bowes, Colne Valley Regional Park, speaking on, Tackling Invasive Species with the Help of Volunteers, delighted to be supported in the audience by some of the amazing voluntary River Rangers who had brought and assembled an Invasive Species display.

Chloe Crompton Groundwork South & Paul Stacey, Watford Borough Council summarised the exciting Rediscovering the River Colne project which has just been signed off to progress to the delivery phase.

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After some questions and a break Dr Kate Heppell Queen Mary University of London & Helena Soteriou Thames Water gave a detailed, data rich talk on the Chess Smarter Water Catchment, including Citizen Science.

They referred to the River Chess Story Map 

Stewart Pomeroy talked on The Pressures of Development which prompted many questions.

Conversations continued over an amazing lunch served in the main hotel building.

The afternoon started with the keynote speech from Charles Rangeley-Wilson on Chalk Streams First. 

Paul Jennings, River Chess Association, enjoyed showing us the valley when he guided us on a Walk along the River Chess, past the amazing bluebells caught at their peak of display, a vivid blue haze and smell, then down to the bottom of the hill to river where the Environment Agency explained the habitat modifications that have created a pond for Grayling and other species to thrive. Kate Heppell showed us a sampling device installed above the riverbed.

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Thank you to everyone who attended, there were 60 in all. Great to see so many who care passionately about the rivers of the Colne Catchment willing to dedicate their time to understand the complexity of the numerous issues and initiatives.

If you’d like to know more detail the presentations will be available to download here once permission has been granted.

An especial thank you to the speakers and our sponsors Thames Water and Affinity Water for making it possible. We’ve already received positive feedback and will be distributing feedback forms soon to learn more.


Presentations part 1 - 1-5

Presentations part 2 - 6





Angling & Nature 

Conservation Project

Lydia Ennis Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust & 

Tony Booker Colne Valley Fisheries Consultative


Tackling Invasive Species 

with the Help of Volunteers

Joshua Bowes

Colne Valley Regional Park


Rediscovering the River Colne

Chloe Crompton Groundwork South & 

Paul Stacey Watford Borough Council


Chess Smarter Water Catchment, 

including Citizen Science

Dr Kate Heppell 

Queen Mary University of London

& Helena Soteriou Thames Water


The Pressures of Development

Stewart Pomeroy

Groundwork South


Chalk Streams First

Charles Rangeley-Wilson

Chalk Streams First

Design by LTD Design Consultants and build by Garganey Consulting. From an original concept by the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust.