Essex Rivers Hub

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As news reports of Giant Hogweed burns continue to increase in number, awareness of the dangers this plant poses have been highlighted. Here is a rundown of frequently asked questions regarding the plant.

What is Giant Hogweed and where does it come from?

The Giant Hogweed is an invasive species of weed. Native to Central Asia, it was originally imported as an ornamental plant in the 19th century but now grows wild. It is spread when a single plant disperses between 1,000 – 100,000 seeds.

Where is Giant Hogweed found?

The Dedham Vale and Stour Valley Project have have been working with Norfolk Non-Native Species Initiative (NNNSI) to develop a biosecurity plan for the River Stour catchment. This is an incredibly important part of ensuring that invasive soecies become a problem of the past in this area.

Essex Wildlife Trust has been involved in the Catchment Based Approach (CaBA) for nearly five years and has hosted the Combined Essex catchment since 2013.

The Essex Rivers Hub (the Combined Essex Catchment Partnership) has been selected as one of six catchment partnerships to be examined and one of two partnerships to be interviewed and questioned in detail. This selection was made because ERH has been identified as being very successful in the range of activities and the strength of the partnership and our commitment to the Catchment Based Approach (CaBA - the umbrella under which the Water Framework Directive and related activities are being progressed by the EA and Defra).

Essex Wildlife Trust was recently awarded funding from the NBN Trust to digitise river corridor survey data for the Rivers Blackwater and Pant, collected by the National Rivers Authority in the early 1990s. This was part of a wider initiative to mobilise data using funding received from the Cabinet Office via their Release of Data fund.

The data consists of sketch maps, summary information and detailed botanical surveys of the Pant and Blackwater, and of a tributary of the Pant, the Finchingfield Brook. This data was held in paper format by the Environment Agency and digitised by Essex Wildlife Trust Biological Records Centre as part of our ongoing partnership work with Essex Biodiversity Project and the Environment Agency, aimed at sharing information on Essex Rivers.

Essex Wildlife Trust (EWT) collates and manages data collected by its staff, volunteers and members, to help promote evidence based conservation and land management in Essex.

EWT also aims to work with the general public and external organisations that wish to share data so that information on species and habitats in Essex is available as widely as possible to those who require it, and to promote data sharing for the benefit of conservation in Essex.

All of the data collected is incredibly important, this new online recording system will allow more people to make more records and therefore help up to increase the amount of data collected. If you have seen a bird in your garden, a rabbit on grass verge on your drive to work or a fish in your local river then it is all worth recording! Give this simple website a go and see how easy it is to start making a contribution to your local records centre.

Thursday 28th May 2015.

Darren Tansley, Essex Wildlife Trust’s Water for Wildlife Officer, worked with landowners in Sible Hedingham to improve a lake that was previously a carp fishing lake.

The lake is no longer fished and the carp have been removed and is now left to become a wildlife area. The quality of the water within the lake is poor due to increased nutrients from the fish and lacks habitats within the lake itself. Darren saw this as an opportunity to try out floating islands called BioHavens. These islands not only create habitats within the lake but it is hoped that they will improve water quality through their clever design. Below is a description of how they work:

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