Rivers Blackwater and Pant

Ironbridge Farm is a lovely site on the banks of the River Pant near Shalford. The value of Ironbridge is recognised in its designation as a Local Wildlife Site, which means it is important at a county level for wildlife. Due to this designation, it was deemed perfect for a river restoration project. 

This project aimed to recreate, rehabilitate and enhance the habitats found at Ironbridge Farm and those designated in the local wildlife site citation, namely fen meadows, wet woodland and the River Pant. The site has, over time become increasingly dry. This puts the wet woodland and fen meadows found on the site at risk of drying out, especially in our drying climate. 

We therefore devised a plan to reconnect the wet woodland to the river and undertake some limited scraping in order to lower the ground level to enable more frequent flooding and inundation of this area.

Over time it is hoped that this meadow will retain any flooding well into spring, allowing the establishment of vegetation associated with fen meadows and secure the future of the wet woodland. 

The connection to the river was made via a 300mm pipe, installed about half way up the bank. This then feeds water from the main river into a pond which fills up before spilling into the wet woodland where the water is stored and cleaned, before heading back into the River Pant. 

This project is still settling down but we are hopeful that it will help to address water quality issues, provide some flood storage and secure the future of this important Local Wildlife Site. 

Thanks must go the landowner for allowing us to access the land and the Environment Agency for providing the funding. 


Rivers Blackwater and Pant

WFD water body status


Project type

Wet Woodland creation

Project lead

Essex Wildlife Trust

Contact for more information

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Project partners

Environment Agency

Funding source

Catchment Restoration Fund

Project start


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