Rivers Blackwater and Pant

This area is local authority owned and there is extensive public access, being a popular area with dog walkers. Once the site of Straits Mill, although the mill building has since been demolished, the old mill race still remains. Interpretation boards with information about the Mill are situated near the site.

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 variable and the channel was 2-5m wide and 0.5-1m in depth.

For most of this stretch the channel profile is steep.

Bankside trees were frequent, marginal plants and in-channel plants are abundant. 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 present and areas of erosion were present in the downstream section only at the time of the survey.


There was evidence of Mallard, Heron, Wren, Goldfinches and butterflies and a large number of herbs including Wild garlic, Meadowsweet, and Dog's Mercury recorded at the time of the survey. A Grey Wagtail and a Kingfisher were also recorded here during the walkover surveys.

Additional comments

Erosion is being addressed by a boardwalk. Part of the floodplain was turned into a housing development circa 1998.

This stretch of the river is bordered on the north bank by a fishing lake and old gravel workings, and to the south by recreational grassland and urban/suburban areas.



Rivers Blackwater and Pant

Date completed

Spring 2013

Upstream Grid ref (red marker)


Downstream Grid ref (green marker)


Website key stakeholders:

Environment Agency logo      Essex Wildlife Trust logo           ESWT Logo 70

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