Blackwater and Crouch

Introduction

This area runs from Clacton in the north to just short of Shoebury Ness (Southend) in the south. It includes the estuaries of the rivers Blackwater and Crouch.

The shoreline here is low lying with large drying sand banks, making the two estuaries the main areas of interest. The Blackwater estuary covers a large area and incorporates Mersea, Osea and Northey islands, all requiring high water to circumnavigate. The Crouch is a more compact river, but may provide better shelter if this is required.

Times of high water

Mersea Island: High water is 24 minutes after high water at Walton-on-the-naze The channels to the north side of the island dry at least 3.2 m. MHWS 5.0, MHWN 3.8, MLWS 1.2, MLWN 0.4. The Strood causeway is an easy portage. It only covers with around 5 m of water, so paddling over the fences would require an exceptional spring tide.

Tidal streams

River Colne at Wivenhoe: The south-east going stream begins at 50 minutes after high water at Walton-on-the-naze. The north-west going stream begins at 5 hours and 10 minutes before high water at Walton-on-the-naze.

River Colne Entrance, by Mersea Stone: The north going stream begins at 6 hours before high water at Walton-on-the-naze. The south going stream begins at 30 minutes after high water at Walton-on-the-naze. The north going stream reaches a speed of 1.2 knots at springs. The south going stream reaches a speed of 1.5 knots at springs.

River Blackwater entrance, by West Mersea: The east north-east going stream begins at 40 minutes after high water at Walton-on-the-naze. The west south-west going stream begins at 5 hours and 50 minutes before high water at Walton-on-the-naze. The flow reaches a speed of 1.5 knots at springs.

River Blackwater at Maldon: The east south-east going stream begins at 1 hours after high water at Walton-on-the-naze. The west north-west going stream begins at 5 hours and 10 minutes before high water at Walton-on-the-naze.

River Blackwater, south of Osea Island: The east going stream begins at 50 minutes after high water at Walton-on-the-naze. The west going stream begins at 5 hours and 20 minutes before high water at Walton-on-the-naze.

River Crouch, Hullbridge: The east going stream begins at 15 minutes after high water at Sheerness. The west going stream begins at 5 hours and 45 minutes before high water at Sheerness.

River Crouch at Burnham-on-Crouch: The east going stream begins at at high water at Sheerness. The west going stream begins at 6 hours before high water at Sheerness. The east going stream reaches a speed of 3 knots at springs. The west going stream reaches a speed of 2.5 knots at springs. No accurate information is available , and Sheerness +1:30 and -5:40 have also been reported as the times at which the streams begin.

Notes

Access/Egress

Brightlingsea: (TM 084 163) g Slipway by sailing club, with small paid car park nearby.

Clacton, Holland-on-Sea east: (TM 213 168) g Ramp down to beach, near the sailing club. Parking 200m to the north. All complicated by a one way system....

Clacton, Hastings Beach: (TM 168 138) g Car park by beach with height barrier

West Mersea Jetty: (TM 001 130) g Small pay and display car park by the shore. There is a jetty 'The Hammerhead', a public facility operated by Colchester Borough Council which should allow access at all state of the tide. There is also a public slipway to the south usable when the tide is higher.

West Mersea Esplanade Beach: (TM 021 124) g Large car park likely busy at summer weekends. Near beach, but likely better at high water. May dry less far out further west (e.g. Lower Kingsland Road), but no obvious parking nearby.

Jaywick: (TM 147 128) g Car park by the beach, height barrier.

Bradwell Waterside: (TL 994 080) g Slipway at end of road with limited and restricted parking on the road. Few other good places to leave a car nearby.

Maldon Promenade Park: (TL 863 066) g Small slipway, with parking nearby. Deep mud prevents use at some states of the tide.

Ramsey Island: (TL 952 062) g Access to foreshore, which may be less muddy than elsewhere. Limited parking options, although it may be possible to leave a car or two nearby.

South Woodham Ferrers: (TQ 810 957) g Slipways near a large car park.

Hullbridge: (TQ 810 956) g Public slipway, near the sailing club slipway. Large car park, with height barriers, just to the south.

Creeksea: (TQ 931 958) g Slipway, very limited roadside parking.

Burnham on Crouch Riverside Park: (TQ 943 957) g Car park 150m walk from the river. Slipways in this area may allow access to the river at a range of states of the tide.

Suggested trips

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