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East Anglian rivers are a great resource for leisure: walkers, photographers, anglers and canoeists; and also for wildlife. They are also essential water sources for drinking and for agriculture.  However, our rivers are not always as healthy as they should be and so our mission is to improve them and to educate people on how important this is.

Essex and Suffolk Rivers Trust (ESRT) is an environmental charity set up in 2013 dedicated to improving and protecting rivers in Essex and Suffolk, making them a better place for people and wildlife. We are one of 60 local rivers trusts that sits under the umbrella of the national Rivers Trust - although legally we are an independent organisation. We are the only group of environmental charities in the UK and Ireland dedicated to protecting and improving river environments for the benefit of people and wildlife.

Much of the work of ESRT involves taking forward projects to help implement the EU Water Framework Directive as it applies to England. The Directive stipulates that all member states put in place and implement River Basin Management Plans. We are guided by the Anglian region plan. To date, some of the projects we have worked on include riparian tree planting along the River Colne, re-introducing beavers at the Spains Hall Estate as part of a natural flood management programme, and supporting a Managed Aquifer Recharge trial at Broxstead in Suffolk. To see what else we have done, visit our Projects page. 


We aim to work in collaboration with a range of partners to deliver a catchment based and integrated approach to managing rivers in Essex and Suffolk. We are hosts to two catchment partnerships in the area, the East Suffolk Catchment Partnership and the Essex Rivers Hub, and work with a variety of other partner organisations to develop and implement projects in the area. 


Funding for our projects comes from all quarters including through collaborative bids for project work developed by the catchment partnerships and others. If you wish to support work to improve rivers please contact us, support us or subscribe to learn more.

We have a three year business strategy that guides us to fulfilling our mission ‘to protect, promote, and enhance our freshwater and estuarine ecosystems for both people and wildlife’. You can read the full document here

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