Weed Control

The Environment Agency and the Canal and River Trust take very seriously the issue of weed in the River

Both organisations appreciate that this year has seen particularly large build ups of weed and
understand that this affects a range of waterway users. Both organisations are committed to addressing the
issue as effectively as they can, given their specific remits and the resources available. This year, both
organisations have put additional effort into seeking solutions to the problem and ensuring efforts are as
coordinated as possible going forward.
In particular, we appreciate that weed can build up in large volumes at Grand Sluice. The Environment
Agency is responsible for managing flood risk, therefore it can be difficult to justify removing weed when it is
not deemed to be a flood risk. The Environment Agency is not funded or resourced to carry out routine weed
flushes, but is happy to flush out weed from Grand Sluice when it is safe to do so and there are staff in the
area. Whilst the Environment Agency does have a responsibility to provide a minimum depth of water on the
Witham, they have no other formal responsibilities for navigation.
The Canal and River Trust is the navigation authority for the Witham with a remit of maintaining a channel of
navigation within the river. Every year the Trust spend a significant amount on removing weed from the
Witham to maintain the navigation. We appreciate that some waterway users would like additional
resources spent on this but the Trust has to balance this work with a wide range of competing priorities. The
Trust does however keep the resource expenditure and effectiveness of its operation under review