Roman River

This stretch of river runs along the south of Friday Woods SSSI, an ancient woodland site to the south of Colchester. The woodland to the north of the river gives way to pasture on the southern bank which is grazed by cattle.

The area (land use)

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

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

For most of this stretch the channel profile is shallow.

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


The channel has not been straightened and man-made enhancements are absent along this stretch of river.

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


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

Additional comments

The channel along this stretch is relatively shaded, and the good bankside vegetation that is present along this SSSI has been been impacted by the presence of Himalayan Balsam, which has recently been subject to a progamme of removal by hand pulling (see the Roman River Projects Page for more details).

This area is a popular recreation area and training ground and suffers from problems with erosion and trampling in places.


Roman River

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