River Crouch

This catchment consists of the river Crouch and Rettendon Brook, which flows into the Crouch Estuary. The total length of the Crouch is 15km and is split into three sections; upper Crouch, Crays Hill to Wickford and downstream of Wickford. The length of Rettendon Brook is 5km.

This map shows the completed walkovers for the River Crouch.

Click or tap a pin to see details of a walkover

Surrounding land was managed grassland with some urban drainage from surrounding housing. The river has been straightened and a culvert at the beginning of this stretch was heavily blocked by rubbish. The water was brown at the time of the survey suggesting there was a lot of silt in the water which had been made worse by recent heavy rain. The area was open with little shading from trees or scrub.

Surrounding land is arable fields but the river banks are heavily wooded, which means that the channel is heavily shaded, however, these strips are not significantly wide. The main vegetatation along the banks is Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Ash and oak.

Surrounding land is arable and grassland with very overgrown, shaded banks consisting of mainly Hawthorn and Blackthorn. Riffles present along most of the stretch. Arable plants planted quite close to the bank edge. Channel appears straightened in places. 

The surrounding land is mainly amenity grassland including a car park, football pitches and an area used for car boot sales. There is also an area of hard standing where machinery is stored. Arable fields are close by but not directly next to the channel. The channel is shaded by bankside trees and scrub on one side but there is little vegetation present on the opposite bank.

The river here is very natural with meanders and surrounded by arable fields and a meadow. The banks are shaded by trees and scrub. There is small erosion of banks creating steep bare banks.

Area is very difficult to access due to being heavily overgrown, mainly with Blackthorn. This has resulted in shaded banks and little vegetation a part from Blackthorn. There is a lot of woody debris present in the channel. There are also some offices situated on one bank and there is potential drainage issues into the channel from here.

Meandering river with some riffles and a wetland/pond area near the bank upstream. The banks are shaded by trees and scrub but downstream one side becomes more open and there is some housing here.

One side of the bank is a footpath area with natural banks and is designated as a Local Wildlife Site; this is then bordered by arable land. On the opposite bank is housing and amenity grassland with very short grass and little vegetation along the banks. This area is very open with little shading as bankside trees and scrub are very rare.

The beginning of this stretch began in arable land, with thick hedges along the back, creating a lot of shading. This leads to a footpath area with natural, more open banks with good vegetation and housing on the opposite bank. The banks near to the housing consist of amenity grassland. There are reed beds in the channel.

Both banks are more natural than upstream sections with less management and tussocky grass. A footpath follows a natural trail sponsored by Basildon Council. There is an allotment next to the footpath and a small area near to the main road is fenced and used to graze ponies. The ponies have caused the banks to become trampled in places and created areas of overland run off.

An urbanised section of river characterised by concrete reinforced banks. Vegetation is only able to grown between cracks in the concrete, which limits the potential for vegetation along the banks. There are lots of pipes and runoff point so urban drainage will be having a significant impact on the water quality.

Natural banks with lots of vegetation, which consists of a mixture of herbs, trees and scrub. The bed is gravelly with some silt which builds up around obstacles such as trolleys so fly tipping is a problem here but the local group, The River Crouch Conservation Trust, works hard to keep this section of the channel free of debris. The banks are very shaded with lots of mature trees.

The channel is featureless with bare banks and heavily trampled by dogs. The bank edge is shaded by mature trees and scrub, the channel is very shaded which may limit bank and channel vegetation in spring and summer.

The river is featureless with eroded banks and becomes heavily shaded after the football pitches. The banks are dominated by Himalayan Balsam and at the time of the survey the plants had completely died back leaving bare banks that were vulnerable to erosion.

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