Christmas stocking of fish for Oxhey Park

The Environment Agency – with the support of Watford Borough Council – has delivered an early Christmas gift to Oxhey Park, as thousands of fish, including barbel, dace and chub were added to the river’s existing fish population on Wednesday (28 November), thanks to recent habitat improvements along the Oxhey Park stretch of the River Colne

A series of “berms” have been and are continuing to be established in Oxhey Park, in order to improve the diversity of the flow of the river and provide shelter and a breeding ground for fish. 2,000 barbel and a further 750 chub and 750 dace were stocked, providing an immediate boost to numbers, which will be multiplied many times over when the new arrivals settle into their new homes and begin to produce offspring.

The Wild Trout Trust created the plan for the berms and worked with Community Connection Projects CIC to run Habitat Improvement Workshops for local conservationists and volunteers. Brushwood for the berms is sourced locally where possible, such as from tree works carried out by Veolia on behalf of Watford Borough Council.

Christmas is a good time to introduce the fish into rivers, as it enables them to acclimatise to their new surroundings, ahead of their spawning season in the spring. Fish also play a critical role in sustaining a river’s finely-balanced eco-system, so the wider natural environment will also get a festive boost.