River Mardyke

This stretch of river is adjacent to grazing pasture owned by Thurrock Council and managed by a grazier who grazes horses here. The channel has been straightened and reprofiled in the past, and has issues with trampling and overland runoff, as well as potential pollution problems.

The area (land use)

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

Horses were the main livestock 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 variable.

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


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 present and areas of erosion were present at the time of the survey.


Moorhen, Mallard, Feral Pigeon, egret, Crow, Heron, Brimstone butterfly, Small Tortoiseshell butterfly and Peacock butterfly were seen during the survey and a Chiffchaff was heard.

Additional comments

A small patch of Japanese Knotweed was seen in the downstream area.

Off channel reedbed creation was attempted in the past but most of these attempts have failed and the areas now only hold flood waters which increase overland runoff issues. Fly tipping is also an problem.


River Mardyke

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