Essex Rivers Hub

This catchment consists of both the Sixpenny Brook water body and the Tenpenny Brook waterbody. Sixpenny Brook is 7.5km long and Tenpenny Brook is 1.8km long, covering an area of 30.5km2.

The Water Framework Directive (WFD) status for both of these water bodies within this catchment is Moderate Potential. Water quality data is only available for Tenpenny Brook which shows that it is currently failing for phosphate. Neither waterbody is reaching good levels for fish or hydrology, with morphology also being an issue in Tenpenny Brook.

Low flows within these rivers are the cause of failure under hydrology, although, at present, there have not been any further investigations in to the way that these low flows are affecting the ecology of the rivers. Fish are failing in both waterbodies for a combination of sediment loading, a lack of habitat availability, low flows and the diffuse & point source pollution that is known to be present in Tenpenny Brook. The high sediment load in Sixpenny brook is speculated to be because of local gravel pits, this potential source is due to be investigated. Physical modification over time, to benefit agricultural practises, is likely to be the cause of a reduction in habitat availability; for this reason, mitigation methods were put in place for Sixpenny Brook. At present, most of these measures have been taken forward, however there is one still outstanding:

In Place

  • Selective vegetation control regime
  • Appropriate vegetation control technique
  • Appropriate timing (vegetation control)
  • Appropriate techniques (invasive species)
  • Sediment management strategies (develop and revise)

 

Not in Place

  •  Appropriate channel maintenance strategies and techniques - minimise disturbance to channel bed and margins

Once the outstanding measure has been taken forward, this should allow an improvement to habitat availability for fish in the Sixpenny Brook.

Phosphate levels at Tenpenny Brook currently are classified as bad, this has been attributed to a combination of diffuse pollution, inputs from sewage treatment works and potential inputs from unlicensed industry. Walkovers will be carried out so that inputs can be identified. Further sampling will also take place. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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