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Tree Blockages – Tell the Environment Agency

It’s inevitable that trees occasionally fall across the river, either through bank erosion, storm damage or old age. These fallen trees can block the navigation for canoes & kayaks and can cause flooding problems when debris builds up. The Environment Agency (EA) is responsible for keeping the Stour navigation clear. Often it takes them longer than we’d wish to get the trees cleared completely, so we try and clear a route through with hand tools.

The photos show a typical fallen willow tree that’s causing a problem just downstream of the Anchor pub, Nayland in June 2018. At high water, you can just get a canoe over the submerged trunk, but at normal summer water levels, you have to get out and portage round. Here the bank is flat but full of nettles, so we’re thrashing the nettles down until the tree is removed by the EA.

Looking upstream at submerged tree.


Looking downstream at thrashed nettles

If you come across a fallen tree on the Stour, you can let the EA know through their national hotline on 0800 807060. Mention that it’s the River Stour in Suffolk, that there’s a blockage to navigation & try to give a grid reference or other notable landmark so they can find it.

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