Residents invited to take part in new flood resilience initiative – Catchment to Coast

Residents living in the Essex areas of Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock are being invited to help shape a new project that will aim to reduce the risk of flooding in these areas.

Thames21 will work with the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs, the Environment Agency, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, Thurrock Borough Council (the latter all lead the initiative) and other partners on the project. The Catchment to Coast project will use innovative nature-based solutions such as leaky dams to improve flood and coastal erosion resilience.

The launch event will happen on Sunday 2nd July at Belfairs Woods Nature Discovery Centre at Southend-on-Sea and will be led by Thames21. A variety of family-fun activities, including children’s craft activities such as building a model leaky dam, mini-golf and 3D scanner river activities will be on offer.

Thames21 Engagement Manager Sam Bentley Toon said: “Our mission is to empower people of all ages, abilities and from all parts of society to improve their local waterways. We love the vision of Catchment to Coast, which will work from source to sea, addressing flooding and coastal erosion by using nature-based solutions to harness the power of nature.’’

The quality of our rivers is affected by both too much and too little water.  Climate change is making extreme weather such as heatwaves and prolonged rainfall more frequent. This will result in more flooding events, so river stakeholders will need to work in partnership with communities to support them to help the areas they live in become flood resilient.

The project will take a catchment-based approach to tackling flooding and coastal erosion, with the primary objective of reducing surface water flood risk and erosion of historic landfill sites.

The project will also provide opportunities for community co-design, the collection of local knowledge and PhD collaboration to trial innovative techniques to improve flood and erosion resilience while utilising smart tools for monitoring and evaluation.

Solutions that the partners hope to create through specific measures in the upper, middle and lower areas of the catchment include:

Upper catchment (above Stanford-le-Hope and Shoebury, Prittle Brook)

  • Installing integrated nature-based water management and land management solutions such as leaky dams at Belfairs.
  • Mid catchment (Stanford-le-Hope, Shoebury)
  • Installing rainwater harvesting in individual homes near pinch points in the sewer system, and storm-water harvesting for greywater purposes (e.g. allotments)

Lower catchment / coast (Thurrock Thameside Nature Park, Fobbing Marsh, Canvey Island, Two Tree Island, the seawall at Hadleigh and Leigh Station)

  • Installing local monitoring and early warning systems in the lower-based catchments
  • Enhancing saltmarsh establishment and regeneration

The partnership includes Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, Thurrock Borough Council, Castle Point Borough Council, Anglian Water – Catchment Management Team, Essex Wildlife Trust, Environment Agency, Thames 21, King’s College London, AmbioTEK CIC, University of Essex.

To find out more and get the latest updates check out the Catchment to Coast webpage or sign up to the initiative’s mailing list.

For more details about the event email:

About Thames21

Thames21 connects people with rivers by putting healthy rivers back at the heart of everyday life. We improve and restore rivers, educate and empower the community and campaign for positive change for the good of people and the environment. | Registered Charity No. 1103997

Media Contact

Liz Gyekye

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