Essex Rivers Hub

I'm Steve Waters, although my nickname in our canoe club is Podge, which is easier to shout with a mouth full of river water, I have been semi-retired for about two years, and so have some time to volunteer for things.

I first got involved in cleaning the river Colne, by being contacted by Pam Schomberg, the bundle of energy who is chair of Colchester in Bloom. She was already involved with her group in the Rivercare movement, her group was cleaning the banks, and wanted us as a canoe group to clean in the river, we have been cleaning as a joint effort for nearly two years.

I've also volunteered for River Warden, with the Essex Wildlife Trust, which involves searching for signs of Otters and Water voles on the river, and being aware of invasive species in or near the river, and observing and reporting any changes to the river, i.e. excessive foaming, oil residues, dead animals. All this makes the Colne a better healthier place to be in and around.

I like being involved in Rivercare, because it gives us help in keeping the river clean, it provides useful equipment to make the cleaning easier, and with frequent meetings involving the coordinators and other groups, can inspire me to do more, or think of other useful projects.

I love being on the river, introducing people to canoeing, this is enhanced by a cleaner safer river. I like involving those I coach, and my fellow coaches, to help with the clean ups and to help with the observations on the water, I show them my findings, creating an interest in our river.

Being a River Warden for Essex Wildlife Trust adds an extra interest to the river, with courses being available to enhance that interest, like Otter and Water vole surveys, Riverfly surveys, volunteering for some Himalayan balsam pulling, finding out about the markers of a healthy river, is very helpful.

I have also helped run a couple of canoe afternoons for my fellow river wardens, which helps the group meet each other in a relaxed and informative way.


River Colne

WFD water body status


WFD overall status objective


Project type

River Warden

Project lead

Essex Wildlife Trust

Contact for more information

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Project start


Project end


Website key stakeholders:

Environment Agency logo      Essex Wildlife Trust logo           

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