River Crouch

The River Crouch flows through Wickford Memorial Park which is a popular open space for local people within the urban area. The river itself has little in-channel variation resulting in relatively steep banks with almost uniform width and a straight channel.

In Autumn 2014 the Environment Agency began work to add some in-channel habitats by installing woody debris. This involved removing some small trees from within the Park, these were then angled downstream, embedded into the bank and secured to the river bed using wooden stakes to ensure they remain in place and do not become dislodged and float downstream. These will act as flow deflectors, changing the flow of the water so that the opposite bank will begin to erode and the silt will deposit behind the deflector.

This changes the structure of the river creating a more natural shape and also creates changes in the water flow around the deflectors. This will establish a variety of habitats that will suit a wide variety of species.

Follow this link to see a video of Trev Bond from the Environment Agency explaining a bit more about this project.

Photo 1 - trees taken from the park were used to create the woody debris

Photo 2 - digger starting to excavate the bank to install the woody debris

Photo 3 - trench being dug to embed the woody debris into the bank

Photo 4 - woody debris being placed into the trench.


River Crouch

WFD water body status


WFD overall status objective

To achieve Good Ecological status by 2027

Project type

Habitat Creation

Benefiting species and/or habitats

Creation of in-channel habitats, increasing biodiversity.

Total area covered by project


Total area surveyed

All accessible areas of the river Crouch

Project lead

Environment Agency

Contact for more information

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Project partners

Anglian Water, Basildon District Council

Funding source

Anglian Water

Project start

8th Sept 2014

Project end

19th Sept 2014

Website key stakeholders:

Environment Agency logo      Essex Wildlife Trust logo           ESWT Logo 70

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