Water levels at Maple Lodge Nature Reserve have fallen 32cm in just 2 weeks! This is the most sudden level drop ever recorded at this site. Other lakes and rivers in the Colne Valley have been experiencing low water levels.

Keith Pursall, Chairman of the  Maple Lodge Conservation Society said "The lake is now at its lowest level since April 2012, and it has fallen even further since last Thursday. If water levels continued to decline at this rate it would have a catastrophic impact on the nature reserve"

Other lakes in the Colne Valley have been experiencing similar issues. Paul Sansom-Tims, Chairman of the Colne Valley Fisheries Consultative said "Lakes can suffer from water abstraction when the quantity of water being abstracted from underground aquifers exceeds the quantity actually flowing in the aquifers. This can have a dramatic effect on any watercourse but it is often very difficult to prove or quantify. Essentially the amount of water being abstracted can reach the tipping point  and water above the aquifer starts to get drawn down towards the abstraction point.

I believe we have reached the tipping point in the Colne Valley in many locations fairly recently, I have noticed a further decline in water levels beyond the usual. The artesian wells at Croxley Hall are flowing but are very weak and our lake levels are reduced in common with many others. Earlier this year one watercress grower in Bucks has even noticed water going down an artesian well on his property."

Unless we get substantial prolonged rainfall this winter to recharge the aquifers and river levels things are only going to get very much worse. It is important that we make every effort to save water


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