Call to restore neglected town river

A society is calling on a council to stop writing documents and take action to restore a neglected river that runs through the heart of a town.

Hitchin Forum wants North Herts District Council to take steps to improve the River Hiz in Hitchin and took on the challenge following its course to show how badly it is need of restoration. The group walked from Bridge Street to Starling’s Bridge, but found it inaccessible, filled with rubbish and buried underground for much of the route.

The river is at the heart of a North Herts District Council-driven scheme to redevelop the Churchgate area of the town, included in multimillion pound plans to regenerate the area, as well as a key feature in Bancroft Park, which is the subject of a public consultation on possible improvements.

Forum member Ann Heymans said: “We have a lovely river that flows through the middle of our town. With discussions taking place about improving Bancroft Recreation Ground and redeveloping Churchgate we now have a great opportunity to enhance it and create a real asset for generations.”

And she appealed to the council to grasp the opportunity: “Please NHDC, don’t just keep writing documents - safeguard the future of our town and our river.”

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