Essex Rivers Hub

Improving buffer strips along arable land from Barleylands to Church Road, Ramsden Bellhouse

The river Crouch runs through a large area of arable land from Billericay to Wickford Town. In most areas there are buffer strips but often they are very narrow strips of vegetation and not managed in the most affective way. If increased in size and managed better this could be a great help in reducing runoff from the fields.

This would not only improve the quality of the water by reducing silt, phosphates and pesticide entering the channel but it could also benefit the arable fields as less top soil would be washed away and more fertiliser and pesticides would remain on the fields where they are needed.

Small changes could benefit both the river and the landowner by introducing buffer strips where they are missing and ensuring that existing buffer strips are of good quality and managed correctly. Also promoting stewardship schemes that help with the cost of losing land to create buffer strips and hedgerows.

RBD/catchment/river/tributary

River Crouch

WFD water body status

Moderate

WFD overall status objective

To reach Good ecological status by 2027

Project type

Buffer strip improvement, water quality

Benefiting species and/or habitats

To improve and create buffer strips between arable land and the channel. This will both benefit water quality and farmers.

Project lead

Jane Herbert

Contact for more information

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Project partners

Essex Wildlife Trust, Essex Biodiversity Project and the Environment Agency.

Funding source

None at present

Website key stakeholders:

Environment Agency logo      Essex Wildlife Trust logo            Essex Biodiversity Project logo

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