Essex Rivers Hub

A few weeks ago we reported on the River restoration project at Little Waltham meadows. As a quick recap people will remember that the aim of the project was to create a new back channel in a previously dry meadow that offers additional wet habitat, a refuge for fish in time of high flow and filters out many of the pollutants coming through the land drain in a series of small stilling ponds.

In addition the aim was to enhance and extend an existing piece of wet woodland by installing a new sluice and some limited excavation to extend the amount of wet woodland.

The pictures below was taken from nearly the same location and shows what a difference just a few weeks work can make.

Before

After

The site still looks a bit raw but once a growing season is complete and we begin to see the reed developing in the settling ponds and hopefully some interesting flora developing in the backwater it should look superb.

It is far too early to start making judgements on how successful it will, especially in improving the water quality of the River Chelmer but early indications are encouraging with almost universally positive comments from all those who have seen it. The site will now take some time to settle down but our enhancements are not quite complete. In the coming months we have aspirations to install mains fed water for the cattle that graze the site, plant some rare black poplars and to put a new fence around the wet woodland to protect the valuable biodiversity found here.

And, in other exciting news, we can now role on to the next Catchment restoration funded project. We have just received planning permission to go ahead with our bank restoration measures at Bocking Blackwater LNR we hope to get this complete by Christmas if not very shortly after, in the New Year. More news will follow as this project progresses.

Watch footage of the channel here and here.

Tuesday 4th November 2014.

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