Conversation with Rosie, EnvironmentAgency

From the Environment Agency


Started 8 years ago collecting water samples to test for water quality in a van, getting right into the rivers , feet wet.

Now it is about environmental management and pollution, talking to farmers about chemicals and flooding, coastal management, flood banks, planning and overviews – if someone wants to do anything near a river it has to go to the EA for flood risk and ecology, though working with developers often happens after permissions….

Now it’s about getting everybody into the room to take on collaborative projects about water such as the River Base and Management Plan its all –

‘Questions about Waterbodies’

Environment Agency from the Solent to the South Downs

Cuckmere and Pevensey Levels Partnership

South East Water – drinking water

Southern Water -waste water

Natural England

Wildlife Trust

Wild Trout Trust

National Trust

Hastings Pollution assessment Volunteers

South Downs Angling Trust

Wealden District Council

The Forestry Commission

South Downs National park

Groundworks/ Coombe valley

South East Rivers Trust  etc

The aim is to have water in a good state for people and wildlife.

To collect data on water, fish, plants, then look at the data and see how its doing in each ‘Water Body’.

I lost attention and began imagining ‘water bodies’ almost as Waterbabies and lava lamps swirls, something to be held gently, more permeable than a balloon  yet containable and ever moving….

so I looked up the definition in


A body of water or waterbody[1] (often spelled water body) is any significant accumulation of water, generally on a planet’s surface. The term body of water most often refers to large accumulations of water, such as oceans, seas, and lakes, but it includes smaller pools of water such as ponds, wetlands, or more rarely, puddles. A body of water does not have to be still or contained; Rivers, streams, canals, and other geographical features where water moves from one place to another are also considered bodies of water.[2]

Most are naturally occurring geographical features, but some are artificial. There are types that can be either. For example, most reservoirs are created by engineering dams, but some natural lakes are used as reservoirs. Similarly, most harbors are naturally occurring bays, but some harbors have been created through construction.

Bodies of water that are navigable are known as waterways. Some bodies of water collect and move water, such as rivers and streams, and others primarily hold water, such as lakes and oceans.

The term body of water can also refer to a reservoir of water held by a plant, technically known as a phytotelma.

  • Then back to Rosie-

For the rivers its about the weirs, as weirs stop fish. They can’t get upstream over lumps of concrete, I aim to remove the one near the Arlington Reservoir  Rivers need to be full of pools, ripples, old trees, meanders, not pushed out and widened, also to run fast and slow and not evenly, anything uniform about a river is not wanted. All the data is looked at as River Classification, of course the Pevensey Levels are ditches so not like a river, also chalk rivers, and estuaries are different too, but they are all seen as part of ‘river’.

And I am also a Flood Warning Duty Officer, working one week in eight, available 24 hours a day to send out flood warnings. Working with so many different teams to co ordinate information about water levels, weather, tide levels, high astronomical tides, always ready to send out flood warnings to everyone on my list even at 3 in the morning!

Thank you Rosie for a conversation about the Environment Agency and Underwateredge.

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