River Roach

Along the brook, in Belfairs Park, there are areas referred to as cut off meanders or ox bows. These are areas cut off from the main channel by the build-up of silt being which has been deposited there over many years.

The brook, due to its composition and heavy usage by the public has little inchannel and marginal vegetation within Belfairs Park. Therefore is was decided to remove some of the silt build up from these cut off meanders, allowing some water to pool here during high flow and plant these area with marginal plants that will thrive in this habitat. The plants used included reed, Yellow-flag Iris, sedge and Purple Loosestrife. This will create additional habitats and improve the biodiversity.

The digging and planting of these areas was completed in October 2014 and temporary fencing was installed to reduce disturbance while these areas established.

It is hoped these areas will allow the planted and also naturally establishing plants to create habitats and improve the biodiversity of this part of the brook.


River Roach

WFD water body status


WFD overall status objective

To acheive Good Ecological status by 2027

Project type

Habitat Creation

Benefiting species and/or habitats

Creating additional habitats within the brook and improving biodiversity

Total area covered by project

Belfairs Park

Total area surveyed

Whole of the Prittle Brook

Project lead

Louise Morris - Essex Wildlife Trust

Contact for more information

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Project partners

Essex Wildlife Trust and Southend Council

Funding source

Cory Environmental Trust

Project start


Project end


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