Essex Rivers Hub

River Roach Catchment projects

This map shows the current projects; potential, in progress and completed, for the River Roach Catchment. Hover over a number to see a project summary, click on the number to see the full project details.

  • Project status:




    In progress



Alternatively, view the project list

There is a problems with litter in this area with debris in the channel, however there is also some natural debris in the channel in the form of small woody debris so this should be left in situ if it is not posing a flood risk.

Priory Park is an area where a more natural structure to the course of the Brook could be established. This will not only improve biodiversity but also allow the park to act as a flood elevation area to reduce flooding locally. 

Along the brook, in Belfairs Park, there are areas referred to as cut off meanders or ox bows. These are areas cut off from the main channel by the build-up of silt being which has been deposited there over many years.

Prittle Brook runs through an area with many houses and businesses. This means that the water quality is impacted by urban runoff, which includes anything that is disposed of down outside drains such as those along roads, pavements and in gardens.

Woody debris has been installed into the river in Cherry Orchard Jubilee Country Park in 6 locations. The wood
has been installed to create additional in-channel habitats within Nobles Green Ditch. Some bankside management was also undertaken to remove overhanging vegetation, this will reduce shading and allow more in-channel vegetation to develop.

A buffer strip, in this case, is a section of land between arable fields or intensive grassland and the channel, where natural vegetation is left to establish. They help to reduce the amount of soil that can enter the channel during wet weather. It is important to stop soil from the fields entering the channel (it is referred to as silt once it enters the water) as it can have a severe affect on the ecosystem.

This area of the brook/estuary is behind a retail park/industrial estate. Within the channel itself there are a number of shopping trolleys and food wrappings, possibly related to the retail area nearby. There is also a outflow pipe that is depositing very smelly water into the channel, with suspected sewage fungus present.

The paths are currently sloped towards the channel meaning that any water from the path drains directly into the brook. This could be impacting on the water quality of the brook as any mud, litter and other contaminants will be entering the channel, especially during heavy or prolonged periods of rain. 

In this location there are two ditches that are not attached to the main channel, possibly cut-off meanders. These ditches could be improved to allow vegetation to develop and become off-channel wetland habitats. These areas would also benefit from being fenced so they are protected from the impact walkers and dogs would have on the emerging vegetation allowing it to develop more effectively.

There is a large outflow pipe in this area that is most likely carrying runoff from nearby houses. This runoff is probably having an impact on water quality due to misconnections (see more on this in the case study section or click on this link) and the wrong things being disposed down the surface water drains.This impact could be reduced by introducing SuDS, Sustainable Drainage System.

There is a significant concrete structure within the channel which will have an impact on fish migration. This structure involves a large concrete wall with only a small opening for water to flow through and structures that hold back debris. 

The banks are currently concrete reinforced preventing the development of inchannel habitats as few plants can grow in these conditions. This limits the number of fish and invertebrates that can be found here.

The vegetation along the banks in this section of brook is very dense and would benefit from better management to improve the bankside habitat.

Just upstream from the lake there is a weir, it is thought that this was constructed to heighten the water level to allow this to filter down a ditch into the lake. Due to the high phosphate levels in the main channel, when this was entering the lake it was resulting in the growth of blue green algae so it was decided to prevent water from the channel entering the lake and instead let it fill naturally via rain water.

There is a grass bank between the river and Sutton Road. The grass bank slopes down to the road and during the survey water had pooled at the bottom and the ground was very wet and boggy in places. Currently the area is managed by cutting the grass regularly and kept as short grass.

This part of the brook is bordered by houses on the west bank and arable land on the right bank. The bankside could be improved and the channel has little inchannel variation.

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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