River Crouch

The River Crouch is a River that flows West to East through the English County of Essex.

The source is a Noak Bridge,on Noak Hill Road at Basildon . At this point the River is a small stream capable of being contained in a concrete culvert as it passes through new housing estates at Wickford. Although it then broadens slightly the river remains comparatively small until it reaches  the tidal section at Battlesbridge.

From Battlesbridge the River flows in a wide estuary for 17.5 miles until it reaches the North Sea at Holliwell Point.

Several streams flow into the Crouch but it's major tributary is the River Roach.

Wildlife and Conservation

The Crouch and Roach Estuaries are of international importance for wildlife.

The relatively mild climate and abundance of food attract internationally important numbers of wild fowl and waders during the winter months.

Nearly twenty-five thousand water birds visit the estuary each year including nationally important numbers of shelduck, shoveler and black-tailed godwit and internationally important numbers of dark bellied Brent Geese.

The Essex Coast provides over-wintering for around one fifth of the world population of dark bellied Brent Geese with an average peak of just over 6 thousand birds (about 2.5% of the world population) congregating around the Crouch and Roach estuary.

There are several important nature reserves on the banks of the Crouch including the major Wallasea Wild Coast project.

Nationally important coastal marsh

The tidal flats, saltmarsh and  coastal grassland and ditch systems also support thirteen species of nationally scarce plant and important populations of rare invertebrates.

An important breeding population of grey seal can be found at the mouth of the crouch estuary.

Consequently the area is subject to a wide range of international, national and regional designations, the Crouch and Roach Estuary is a Site of Special

Scientific Interest (SSSI), a Special Protection Area (SPA) and a Ramsar (wetland) site.

Passenger Ferry across the Crouch

A passenger ferry operates from Burnham to Essex marina in the summer months. The ferry is able to carry cycles.

Click here to visit a page on this web site about the ferry.

Shipping on the Crouch

The port of Baltic Wharf at Wallasea is sited on the River Crouch on the opposite bank to Burnham on Crouch.

Click here to visit a page on this web site about shipping on the Crouch


There are no longer fishing boats based at Burnham carrying out out daily commercial fishing.

There are several boast who carry parties of sea anglers for fishing trips in the Crouch and off the Coastline although many anglers try beach fishing on the sandy beaches of the coast or fishing from the River Wall in the Crouch.

Anglers tend to catch codling and whiting during the autumn and winter and in warmer weather the Crouch is famous for large bass although mackerel, flounders, plaice, dogfish and garfish are also common.


The Crouch is noted for its sailing qualities despite its comparatively narrow estuary.

Care needs to be taken in navigation as the fast flowing water in River where shallows are frequent can prove hazardous especially in adverse wind conditions.

There are numerous anchoring areas both onshore and offshore and the mud banks offer a suitable overnight base for yachtsmen.

Water Skiing

Water Skiing is unlawful on most of the River Crouch and is totally banned on the River Roach.

Two areas have been designated as suitable for water skiing


A footpath streches along the Riverbank for the entire section around Burnham on Crouch giving a great walking oppurtunity.