About us


The Essex Rivers Hub is a partnership initiative hosted by The Essex and Suffolk Rivers Trust and supported by the Environment Agency. The aim of this site is to provide a portal for sharing information about Essex rivers, and to show the results of river corridor surveys and project work aimed at achieving good ecological status for rivers in Essex.

The Rivers Trust

The Essex and Suffolk Rivers Trust is a newly forming charity comprising a diverse group of organisations and individuals around the challenge of catchment management. The Trust includes farmers, fishery interests, statutory agencies, water companies, private landowners, councils, environmental charities and river projects. The Trust develops and delivers projects to improve the river environment and advance the understanding of rivers and catchments throughout the river valleys flowing to the North Sea in Essex and Suffolk.

Essex Wildlife Trust

Essex Wildlife Trust is the county’s leading conservation charity, committed to protecting wildlife and inspiring a lifelong love of nature. We manage nature reserves and discovery parks across the county, providing outstanding outdoor learning and preserving places of wonder.Founded in 1959 by volunteers, we protect over 8,400 acres of landacross 87 sites and are supported by 39,000 members. 

Essex Wildlife Trust is a founding member of the Essex Rivers Hub and hosted the partnership between 2015-2020 and now manages the Essex Rivers Hub website. 

Essex & Suffolk Water (Northumbrian Water)

Essex and Suffolk Water have an abstraction at Langford at the bottom of the Chelmer and Blackwater catchment, which provides drinking water for the supply area. Joint catchment restoration on these rivers, will improve the water quality and lead to a reduction in the amount of treatment required at the intake.

Chelmer and Blackwater Catchment Partnership

This partnership is working with the local farming community to reduce the amounts of nitrate, phosphate, pesticides and sediment reaching the watercourses. Essex and Suffolk Water and Natural England supports this project through increased public and farmer engagement via the quarterly Chelmer and Blackwater Catchment Partnership newsletters, events and training sessions. In addition, water quality monitoring at the Langford abstraction and on the tributaries, will also provide evidence of the success of these projects.

Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation – Essex Waterways Ltd

The 14 mile Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation runs from Springfield Basin in Chelmsford to Heybridge Basin, Maldon. It is a river navigation with 13 locks using the Rivers Chelmer and Blackwater. Essex Waterways Ltd took responsibility for maintaining and operating the Navigation in 2005 following the Administration of the original owners in order to prevent the closure and loss of this historic recreational asset which was opened in 1797. Essex Waterways Ltd is a "not-for-profit" company where all monies raised are spent upon the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation which is operated for public benefit to safeguard the built and natural heritage of the Navigation and to undertake appropriate restoration and development of the navigation to maximise public appreciation. Essex Waterways Ltd is wholly owned by The Inland Waterways Association, a registered charity (Reg. no 212342). Essex Waterways Ltd is a volunteer led company which relies heavily upon the use of volunteers from all over the country and upon grant assistance where available. We welcome this opportunity to work in partnership upon the projects on the Navigation for mutual and public benefit.

Parish Councils and the Rural Communities Council for Essex (RCCE)

Developing relationships with Parish Councils and highlighting the water resource issues and project successes at a Parish level is an important part of this project.

Essex Wildlife Trust has long standing experience of working at Parish level in partnership with Parish Councils and local community groups and interests through including habitat management, survey and capacity building in developing the EWT Living Landscapes initiative. We are a membership and volunteering organisation so good community relations are key to our work. The Rural Communities Council for Essex is the umbrella body for Parish Councils and we envisage working with them to coordinate communication with the Parishes.

Landowners and farmers

It is critical that we develop good interactions with farmers and landowners and have a shared vision to improve the quality of river corridors across the catchment.

Essex Wildlife Trust is very much part of the local community and understands the importance of involving local people. Partnership is fundamental to the work of Essex Wildlife Trust, working openly and positively with a wide range of landowners, farmers and related organisations.

As part of our on-going river corridor walkover surveys we have contacted 200+ landowners in the area to seek access and explain what we are doing and why it is necessary. In addition this area has been a focus of work for EWT in relation to Local Wildlife Sites [LoWS], best practice woodland management and awareness raising and over the past years we have developed positive relationships with many landowners and farmers in the area.

Essex County Council

With a partnership of interested organisations including Essex Wildlife Trust, the EA and a number of Essex Local Authorities, ECC is developing a Biodiversity Offsetting Pilot for Defra with the Environment Bank. The project is interested to see how Biodiversity Offsetting can be integrated to deliver added value within catchment restoration and the WFD process.

Essex FWAG (Farming & Wildlife Advisory Group)

Essex FWAG is an independent and farmer led organisation, which seeks to support, enthuse and inspire fellow farmers to value the environmental assets on their land and use them to secure a sustainable and profitable business for the future.

FWAG is a key partner engaging with farmers and landowners to strengthen awareness of the natural assets on their farm and encourage them to further conserve and enhance them.

FWAG is a crucial mechanism through which farmers can share best practice amongst one another through demonstration, facilitation and discussion and to provide practical solutions to environmental challenges including climate change and drought that do not compromise the viability of the farm business.

FWAG also seek to improve the general public's understanding of the contribution that farmers make to enhancing UK biodiversity, the farmland landscape and the wider environment.

Dedham Vale and Stour Valley Project

The Dedham Vale AONB and Stour Valley Project consists of a small team focusing on conserving and enhancing the special qualities of the Stour Valley, but this is only one element of a much wider group of organisations committed to this work. 

For more than 20 years the Dedham Vale and Stour Valley  Project has been at the heart of a partnership between local authorities, government agencies, national organisations and local people. The aim of this partnership is to conserve and enhance the special qualities of the area. They aim to build upon the success of this strong partnership working to conserve the area for the benefit of future generations of residents and visitors.

Website key stakeholders:

Environment Agency logo      Essex Wildlife Trust logo           ESWT Logo 70

Design by LTD Design Consultants and build by Garganey Consulting based on an original concept by Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust