Stamford Mill Stream Project
Stamford Millstream (the Kings Mill) has been in existence for several hundred years, dating back to before the Domesday Book. However, it no longer serves as the energy to power a mill, but
features as a picturesque (in parts) element of the Welland as it flows through Stamford.
Unfortunately, due to a number of factors, including a reduced flow of water, the Mill Stream has suffered badly in recent times and is not currently in a very healthy state. This has led to the overgrowth of weeds, stagnation, and a loss of wildlife.
The project aims to address these issues and restore the stream as a healthy and attractive amenity, offering local residents, visitors and schools an environment in which they can learn more about the history and ecology of the area.
The restoration is targeted for completion by the end of 2013.
Agencies/Organisations involved include The Welland Rivers Trust (as Project lead), Anglian Water, Stamford RiverCare Group, the University of Leicester and Cummins Generator Technologies – Volunteering through In The Community Scheme.
Initial funding is being provided by The Cummins Foundation, which has provided a grant of $32,000 (£20,000). Funding for future phases of the project will be sought from other sources.
Work on the main clearance programme is now mainly finished, with groups from Cummins, RiverCare and Anglian Water undertaking major clearance work in the stream bed and along the banks and pathway from Tinwell Weir to below the Broadeng bridge. Completion of the clearance work along the mid-section was early Spring 2013.
The majority of the funding from the Cummins Foundation will be spent on the next phase of work which will be the construction of a surfaced path along the length of the Mill Stream, running from Waterfurlong through to Tinwell Weir. This work will involve the installation of gravel boards either side of the existing track, followed by a weedproof membrane topped with wood chippings to give a clean dry walking surface all year round.
The University of Leicester has undertaken a detailed study and evaluation of the stream and its environment and their subsequent report will feed into the two-year project plan for management and maintenance of the stream.
The problems caused by low water flow in the stream are being addressed by a number of proposals, including re-modelling of the stream bed to incorporate artificial meanders and a two-stage channel design, which will maximise the movement of available water.
The water supply problem at the head of the stream (currently fed by a pump, located at Tinwell Weir) is also being addressed:
The terms of the current abstraction licence issued by the Environment Agency limit the number of litres of water which can be pumped into the stream annually. This is currently the subject of discussions with the EA to establish if any amendment can be made to the licence which would permit more water to be diverted via the stream.
Anglian Water are checking the pump is in working order, having recently cleared and replaced a blocked pipe broken by tree roots. Timing is to be agreed for the running of the pump to ensure there is sufficient water in the channel during the summer months when stagnation is worst.