River Chelmer

An urbanised section of the Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation, running through Heybridge on its way to the Blackwater Estuary at Goldhanger Creek.

The area (land use)

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

No livestock were recorded.

Channel characteristics

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

At the time of recording the flow of water was slow and the channel was 5-10m wide and 1-2m in depth.

For most of this stretch the channel profile is steep, canalised.

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


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

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


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


Several bird species were seen and heard, including Mallard, Moorhen, and Chiffchaff. Otters are known to be present along this stretch of the river with sightings occasionally reported.

Additional comments

A very heavily modified, urban stretch of river but, in places, has good bankside habitat including an area of reedbed at an adjacent local wildlife site.


River Chelmer

Date completed


Upstream Grid ref (red marker)


Downstream Grid ref (green marker)


Website key stakeholders:

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