Essex Rivers Hub

River Chelmer downstream of River Can Pressures

The table below shows the current pressures that this waterbody faces and the solutions that could be put in place to solve these problems. You can learn more about some of these pressures and solutions on the Environment Agency Catchment Data Explorer or you can contact us to find out more.

PRESSURES

SOLUTIONS

Turkish Crayfish have been most recently recorded on this water body in 2008. Turkish Crayfish cause changes to the natural bankside habitat and also out-compete our native crayfish. They are fierce predators and can completely change fish and invertebrate communities so that they are no longer in their natural state.

There is currently no known solution to the invasion of Turkish Crayfish, regular monitoring is needed to ensure a strategic approach when a solution has been identified.

 

Japanese Knotweed has been most recently recorded on this water body in 2011. This plant not only shades out native plants, but also causes serious damage to buildings.

Japanese Knotweed can be removed by spraying or injecting its roots with pesticides, this takes time to kill the plant, but it is effective. Just digging up this plant is, unfortunately, not enough.

 

Himalayan Balsam has been most recently recorded on this water body in 2012. This pretty plant, with pink flowers, is fast growing and hardy. It covers river banks and shades out native plants. In the winter, Himalayan Balsam will die down, leaving bare banks that are susceptible to erosion.

Himalayan Balsam can be removed easily by pulling it from the ground (including the root), snapping the basal stem and then leaving it in a pile to rot down. If you would like to get involved in pulling this invasive species, or would like to organise a work party, then please let us know through the contact us page.

Floating Pennywort has been most recently recorded on this water body in 2012. Floating Pennywort covers the surface of the river, blocking out natural light and causing the plants below to die. The dead plants then rot down, removing the oxygen from the river. Floating Pennywort also causes trouble for boats, making the river very difficult to navigate.

Eradication of floating pennywort can only be successful through spraying. It spreads very quickly and just small live fragments can allow it to take hold again. If you see this plant species then please alert us as soon as possible.

American Mink have been most recently recorded on this water body in 2009. American Mink cause a wide range of problems on a river, including playing a large part in the local extinction of many natural species such as water voles and kingfishers.

In order to eradicate mink, they must be trapped and dispatched. Trapping must be done catchment wide as mink can travel large distances. It is important that there are enough people involved in a trapping project to ensure that the traps can be checked regularly. Monitoring mink, water vole and otter presence on your river can also help us when planning eradication programmes.

 

Flood protection structures are present along this waterbody. These may cause a reduction is available habitat and prevent fish migration. The extent of this problem has not been identified.

Determine the impact of physical structures along this waterbody.

This water body has problems with increased phosphate levels. Phosphate is thought to be entering the water from a range of different point sources, although many of these have not been identified; one possible input is the local sewage treatment works. Storm discharges are also thought to be having an impact on the phosphate levels. This increase in phosphate is causing disruption to the algae and plants within the river.

Along with phosphate, detection of a harmful chemical has been confirmed within this waterbody.

Identify the point sources of pollution.

Address issues where possible by engagement with local people and landowners.

Work to determine the source of the harmful chemical and address the problem that allows it to enter the river.

This water body has problems with increased phosphate levels. Phosphate is thought to be entering the water from agricultural run-off. This increase in phosphate is causing disruption to the algae and plants within the river.

Engage landowners to encourage best practises for use of phosphates.

Increase riparian buffer strips to encourage nutrients to settle out before entering the river.

  

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