Essex Rivers Hub

River Colne, Chappel to Fordstreet

This stretch of the Colne Valley consists of a relatively unmodified stretch of river winding through pasture land predominantly used for sheep grazing. Cricket bat willow plantation is a common feature along this part of the river, with some arable land in the downstream part of the section.

The area (land use)

The dominant land use for this stretch of river is pasture.

Sheep were the main livestock recorded.

Channel characteristics

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

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

For most of this stretch the channel profile is steep/vertical undercut.

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

Engineering

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

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

Condition

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

Wildlife

Evidence of otters and water voles were seen along this stretch, and a kingfisher was also sighted during the surveys. A number of other birds including skylark were also recorded along the river corridor at the time of the survey.

Additional comments

The river channel here is known to be quite overgrown through the summer and water levels at the time of the walkover survey were extremely low for this river at this time of year - usually this river is 0.5 - 1m deep. 

RBD/catchment/river/tributary

River Colne

Date completed

Spring 2013

Upstream Grid ref

TL8995728219

Downstream Grid ref

TL9202027113

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