River Chelmer

The upstream section of this river, to the south of Great Dunmow, is predominantly bordered by paddocks, with short grass adjacent to the river banks. Downstream from the A120 the land use changes to mostly arable land without buffer strips. To the west of Felsted there are also wooded areas alongside the channel.

The area (land use)

The dominant land use for this stretch of river is arable.

Horses were the main livestock recorded.

Channel characteristics

The river channel consists of mainly silt, and riffles are present.

At the time of recording the flow of water was fast and the channel was 2-5m wide and 1-2m in depth.

For most of this stretch the channel profile is variable.

Bankside trees were occasional, marginal plants and in-channel plants are frequent. Woody debris was noted to be occasional.


The channel has been straightened and man-made enhancements are present along this stretch of river.

Field drains were recorded as present and barriers / culverts are present.


Areas of trampling / poaching were absent and areas of erosion were absent at the time of the survey.


Evidence of rabbits and molehills were recorded during the walkover surveys. A number of bird species were also recorded, including Grey Wagtail.

Additional comments

This stretch of channel shows evidence of being straightend in the past, as old meanders are visible in places. There are also problems with rubbish and debris in the channel in places, as manure and rubbish piles were recorded adjacent to the river during surveys.


River Chelmer

Date completed

Spring 2013

Upstream Grid ref (red marker)


Downstream Grid ref (green marker)


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