Stamford Millstream
Improvement Project
Stamford Millstream
Improvement Project

Stamford Millstream Improvement Project

The Stamford Millstream Improvement Project is a community led initiative to revitalise a well loved historic asset for biodiversity and the enjoyment of local residents.

The Stamford Millstream has been an important feature of the town for almost 1000 years, first mentioned in the Domesday Book back in 1086. The current channel was cut around 1640, feeding the Grade II listed King’s Mill with water from the River Welland at Tinwell.

However, work in the 1970s to create the pumping infrastructure for Rutland Water led to the millstream being cut off from the main river, with a small pump installed to still allow some water to flow down the channel.

Over the years, the channel become heavily silted up and dominated by dense vegetation, with the stream ceasing to flow after the pump and feeder pipe became blocked with debris. The ensuing water supply issues caused the millstream to further deteriorate providing little amenity or biodiversity value to the local area.

The millstream was in need of some TLC - choked by weed, obstructed by overhanging branches and suffering from low flows.
Corporate work party days with volunteers from Anglian Water made great progress in Summer 2019.
Local volunteers brave the chilly water to remove reeds from the channel in February 2020.

In December 2018, a renewed energy and enthusiasm within the local community was harnessed to create a steering group of organisations with an interest in improving the millstream for people and wildlife. An action plan was then produced with a suite of different measures to address the most problematic stretches of the millstream and restore the flow from the pump. With a lot of contribution from all parties, several significant milestones were achieved in 2019.

  • The hard concrete edge to the millstream along Bath Row was greened up with planted coir roll that acts as a floating wetland to provide habitat and improved aesthetic value.
  • Anglian Water investigated and repaired the pump and pipework at the head of the millstream, which doubled the flow!
  • The settlement basin at the head of the millstream and the first 50m of the channel were desilited to further improve the speed and quality of flow.
  • Work party days with corporate partners and local volunteers cleared paths of overgrown brambles and nettles and removed reeds that were blocking the channel and encouraging the growth of duckweed.

For a more indepth rundown of the work completed on the project so far, please take a look at the 2019 Stamford Millstream Review.

More work is planned for 2020, including narrowing the channel at Melancholy Walk and the head of the millstream to increase the flow speed and discourage the growth of blocking vegetation in key areas. There will also be a number of extra volunteer work parties that anyone can join in on!

The St. Peter’s Community Group also made a generous donation of £250 to fund the purchase of tools and waders for the work parties which was hugely appreciated by the Stamford Millstream Group.

If you would like to take part in a volunteering day please follow the Stamford Millstream Facebook page for more information.

This project is led by a community steering group with support from:

To meet some of the people involved in the project, check out this video produced by Anglian Water