Essex Rivers Hub

Blackwater; Whiteshill Farm, Bradwell

The river mainly has a natural structure with meanders, except for a small section where the river is diverted past some housing, where there is also a weir. There is lots of in-channel reed possibly resulting in areas of the river becoming choked at peak growing time.

The area (land use)

The dominant land use for this stretch of river is arable, rough grassland, suburban and woodland.

No livestock were recorded.

Channel characteristics

The river channel consists of mainly silt, and riffles are present.

At the time of recording the flow of water was slow and the channel was 2-5m / 5-10m wide and <0.5m / 0.5-1m in depth.

For most of this stretch the channel profile is steep.

Bankside trees were abundant, marginal plants and in-channel plants are dominant. Woody debris was noted to be rare.

Engineering

The channel has not been straightened and man-made enhancements are present along this stretch of river.

Field drains were recorded as present and barriers / culverts are present.

Condition

Areas of trampling / poaching were absent and areas of erosion were absent at the time of the survey.

Wildlife

During the surveys the following was seen or heard: Coot, Red Admiral Butterfly, Mallard, Skylark, Pheasant, Black Bird, Chiff Chaff, Peacock Butterfly and a frog (deceased). A mink and a rat were also seen here.


Additional Information

This part of the channel is shaded. There is some reinforcement around the bridges. The river has some inflow from natural springs. There is an active quay nearby. A small patch of Himalayan Balsam was seen during the survey, upstream, and it is likely that there is more further downstream but was not visible at the time of the survey due to the presence of other vegetation.

There is lots of bank vegetation of different kinds and wide areas that are left unmanaged on both banks, although there is some Cricket Bat willows grown here that are likely harvested.

RBD/catchment/river/tributary

River Blackwater

Date completed

April 2014

Upstream Grid ref

TL8074123024

Downstream Grid ref

TL8241722329

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