River Colne

A heavily urbanised section of river flowing from the A133/A134 junction to the west of Colchester, through the town to the start of the Colne estuary downstream.

The area (land use)

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

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 sluggish and the channel was 2-5m wide and in depth.

For most of this stretch the channel profile is steep.

Bankside trees were rare, 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 present and barriers / culverts are present.


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


None seen during the survey.

Additional comments

A heavily modified section of channel with a number of artificial structures. In places, the urban surfaces give way to grassland along the banksides, but this is amenity grassland with little buffering from the channel. An area of reedbed was noted along this stretch, but rubbish and debris in the channel was a problem and erosion was present in places.   


River Colne

Date completed


Upstream Grid ref (red marker)


Downstream Grid ref (green marker)


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