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RiverCaring in Halstead, Essex

RiverCaring in Halstead, Essex


Throughout the past two years we have supported and highlighted the work of several volunteer groups along the River Colne in Essex.  To follow our volunteers this time around we move several miles upstream from Wivenhoe and Colchester to where the river narrows and meanders through the small town of Halstead…


Helping to keep the river and town beautiful are Halstead in Bloom and the Halstead RiverCare team, while the Halstead Conservation Group look after a charming little nature reserve on the edge of town, complete with ponds, woodland, hedgerows and a wildflower meadow.

 The Halstead in Bloom team - helping to keep Halstead litter free!

On the first Sunday of every month, you can find Halstead RiverCare removing rubbish from the river and its banks, and doing wildlife surveys including Riverfly Partnership surveying to monitor the health of the river.  They are also on hand to spot any pollution incidents, reporting them to the Environment Agency and Anglian Water’s Pollution Watch.  Over the past few years otters have become a regular sight for early risers and water voles are recolonizing suitable bankside habitat on the edge of the town. Grey wagtails appreciate the shallow watery area near the mill and little egrets and kingfishers are often seen fishing in this area.


 Halstead RiverCare, a 2019 litter pick


Over at the quaintly named Coggeshall Pieces the Halstead Conservation Group have been doing some amazing habitat restoration over the past two decades and celebrated their 25th anniversary in 2016. Over that time they have overseen the digging of ponds, construction of a boardwalk and the planting of many trees and hedgerow plants that have become home to a great diversity of butterflies, dragonflies and bird species.  This is all helped along by the fact that the group also build and maintain breeding boxes for birds and bats, and build hibernacula from fallen branches, leaves and turf.  The group also take some fabulous photographs that they share on their Facebook page.  They meet on the first Saturday morning each month for a spot of wildlife appreciation, and there is always tea and biscuits – although this is currently on pause due to COVID at present.


 The Halstead Conservation Group hard at work

Giving bird boxes an important Winter clean


Join in!

Although these groups are currently on pause due to COVID-19 restrictions, the groups will welcome any new helpers who want to come along and join in once restrictions allow – please get in touch if you’re interested in volunteering!