The Environment Agency and Hertfordshire Countryside Management Service have responded to concerns about potential tree felling in Millmead Park, after blue dots were painted on trees.
Contractors working for The Environment Agency have been carrying out survey works related to a project to create a fish bypass that would allow fish to travel upstream past the Cedar Close weir.
The Countryside Management Service explained: "The Cedar Close weir bypass channel aims to contribute to the restoration of the River Beane. The project is being undertaken in partnership by East Herts District Council, Hertfordshire County Council and The Environment Agency."
The fish bypass will create a new channel along the course of a relic channel, rejoining the river immediately downstream of the weir. This will allow fish and eel passage around the weir, reconnecting the two sections of the river and allowing fish and eel to move naturally along the river, restoring access to the potential habitat and ultimately providing a continuous connection to the sea.
Work to create the fish bypass will require some trees to be felled along the relic channel to make space for the new watercourse but it is currently unknown how many trees will need to be removed.
The Environment issued a statement saying: "We were made aware of this [social media] post last week via the Molewood Millrace Action Group and responded to say that we were unaware of the blue dots and that they have nothing to do with marking trees to be felled.
"We have since found out that they were marked out by our sub-contractor carrying out a ground level (topographic) survey in the area, and they used blue dots to mark their progression in the survey.
"We are in the early stages of the project and intend to consult with the local community this spring on the plans to improve the river environment. Work is subject to planning permission and won’t commence before late 2021."
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