Essex Rivers Hub

News

We are pleased to announce the creation of two Catchment Management Partnerships covering Essex. These partnerships will consist of interested parties and stakeholders who want to work cooperatively to improve Essex rivers and address the current and future issues our rivers and other water bodies will face.

They will work closely with the Environment Agency by feeding into and working to implement the River Basin Management Plans (an Environment Agency document that looks at the current state of the water environment, pressures facing them and actions that need to be taken to address these pressures).

Himalayan Balsam is now a common sight along many river banks in the UK. It is non-native and was imported as an ornamental plant to be used in people’s gardens. Unfortunately it did not stay within these gardens for long as it produces seed pods in late summer that can shoot its seeds great distances allowing it to disperse far and wide especially it the seeds can enter a water course.

This plant especially likes shaded moist areas so many river banks are prime spots for them and the running water allows their seeds to be deposited further downstream. This plant also seems to out compete other plants and dominate in the areas it is found, which is not only a problem in terms of reducing plant diversity but this plant completely dies back to nothing after the first frost leaving the banks bare and this increases the amount of sediment that is washed into the channel during heavy rainfall.

The original channel of the River Brain lay abandoned and unconnected from its waters for centuries.

Now, thanks to a project carried out in 2012 by Essex Wildlife Trust, with the support of Witham Town Council, the river is being restored to its former glory.

Excavations have removed the silted river bed and opened up the old channel, so that the river no longer flows solely through the artificially straightened ‘Mill Race’.

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