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What is a river catchment? 

A river catchment is an area with several, often inter-connected, water bodies such as rivers, lakes, groundwater and coastal waters.

We take a catchment led based approach to our work


Many of the problems facing our water environments are best understood and tackled at a catchment level as it enables us to look a the bigger picture and see how all the water systems interconnect. All our work is planned and delivered in a way that takes account of the interconnected nature of the ecosystems working across and within river catchments. In this way we hope to be able to ensure our work is focused in the right place and has the desired effect. It is a challenge to work in this way as it can mean difficult decisions have to be made as to what can be done and where, but we are confident it is the right approach and will lead to longer term improvements and sustained change in our local environment.

Catchment partnerships 

The Department for Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) have recognised the importance of working at a catchment scale and have established support for new groups of organisations to build catchment partnerships at a local level.


ESRT are proud to host the East Suffolk Catchments Partnership (ESCP) and the Essex Rivers Hub (ERH). We are also an active partner in the South Essex Catchment Partnerships. These groups operate across groups of river catchments (termed ‘Management Catchments’ by the Environment Agency). The river catchments in the three areas in Essex and Suffolk are shown in the map below.

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Catchment Areas that fall within the pro
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