Stamford Millstream Improvement Project
The Stamford Millstream is a well loved historical feature of the town of Stamford and was first mentioned in the Domesday book of 1086. The current channel was cut from the main River Welland around 1640 to feed King’s Mill, a Grade II listed corn mill. From here it flows through two weirs and alongside the popular Town Meadows forming an important part of Stamford’s identity. However, the millstream was cut off from the main River Welland during the 1970s when Tinwell Pumping Station was installed to supply Rutland Water.
A small pump was installed to provide some flow down the millstream, but despite great efforts by local charities and businesses, the channel has become heavily silted, stagnated and dominated by dense overhanging vegetation and reeds.
In 2017, Anglian Water undertook maintenance work on the pump and pipe that feeds the millstream, concluding that the stream is not flowing because of a backup of water due to debris in the channel. In addition, the pump has been losing large volumes of water though a crack in its housing.
As a result of the water supply issues, the millstream now provides little amenity or biodiversity value to the local area.
A steering group lead by local community organisations and comprising the Environment Agency, Welland Rivers Trust and Anglian Water has now been formed to draw up a multi phase plan to tackle the issues that lead to the deterioration of the millstream and deliver improvement works to restore its natural and aesthetic value.
A number of volunteer work parties have been held by the local community in Winter 2018/19; more information can be found on the project’s Facebook page.
Stage 1 of the project is to be completed in 2019 and will involve:
Anglian Water and the Environment Agency collaborating to repair the pump and pipe that feeds the millstream and increase the amount of time that it’s run from 5 to 10 hours a day. When completed, this will dramatically increase flow and work to reduce stagnation and buildup of surface vegetation.
The desilting of the settling chamber at the outflow of the pipe.
The greening up of the concrete embankment at Bath Row to provide new wildlife habitat and a softer edge to the millstream in an area of high public use.
Credit for this video goes to Anglian Water.