Peter Citheroe

Your memories of the Gaywood River

Gaywood River Revival is embarking on an exciting project to celebrate the heritage of our local chalk stream and set a benchmark for its restoration.

Chalk streams are not only rare landscape features but also support unique ecosystems, including unique chalk stream plants and distinctive fish and invertibrate species.

We would like to invite you to share your cherished memories and experiences related to The Gaywood River.

Your memories will help us weave a rich tapestry of all our experiences that capture the essence of this unique natural treasure.

We encourage you to reminisce and reflect on the moments, big or small, that have stayed with you. Whether it’s a childhood adventure, a special encounter with wildlife, or simply the river’s presence in your life, we invite you to share your words, thoughts, and emotions and any pictures you have. Your contributions will not only preserve these memories for future generations but also foster a deeper sense of connection and appreciation for our precious chalk stream.

Please take a moment to make a note of your memories and experiences, as every story holds a unique significance. You can simply type into the form on the “Memories” page.

Let us come together and celebrate the magic of our chalk stream, ensuring that its beauty and significance remain alive in our memories as we work to restore its health for generations to come.

Thank you for your memories and for being stewards of our treasured heritage.

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Closure to help stream recover

A temporary closure order has been made to stop vehicles damaging the Gaywood River near Grimston.

Surprisingly, the narrow path alongside the  upper reach of the chalk stream from its springs at Grimston is classified as a byway. Recently however, groups of two and four wheel vehicles have been forcing a way through and have caused huge damage to both the path and the stream. On occasions vehicles have become stuck in the stream and even overturned, causing pollution as well as physical damage.

Norfolk Highways have now put a temporary close on the byway while restoration work is carried out. Concerns remain that the damage could be repeated when the order expires.



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Environment Agency slams water company data

The Environment Agency today issued a damming comment on performance data supplied water companies. Recent news about the extent of untreated sewage discharges may have been understating the extent of the problem, partly because fewer outfalls are monitored than the water companies claim.

On it’s official blog the Environment Agency said that:

“Overall the water companies are claiming 96% EDM (Event Duration Monitors) coverage; however this is … wrong. The official data shows it is in fact 91%. In addition, in this year’s annual returns, there were a number of additional storm overflows reported by some water companies and some monitors are not operating as reliably as we expect.

It is the water companies’ responsibility to notify us about any storm overflow, pumping station or wastewater treatment works which does not have an environmental permit. They should apply for the permit as soon as possible after they identify the offending discharge.”

The water companies also appear to have been making unsubstantiated claims about their “improved” performance.

”The 2022 EDM data shows a decrease in spills, which reflects last year’s drier than average weather. Despite claims by water companies and Water UK, the body that represents their interests, there is no evidence to show it is because of water company action. In fact, last year water companies only made improvements to 65 storm overflows – less than 0.5% of the overall total of overflows in the entire system – so we are very confident that water company action has not significantly contributed to the reduction in flows overall. For them to claim otherwise is wilfully misleading.

What is very clear from the data they have provided is that the number of spills they are allowing on the sewage network is far too high and totally unacceptable. We are considering whether any action is required under our Enforcement and Sanctions Policy.”


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Gaywood River sewage dumping data released

Sewage was dumped into the Gaywood River 118 times last year for a total of 288 hours.

According to figures published by The Environment Agency, by far the worst offender on the river was the sewage treatment works at Pott Row Where untreated sewage was deliberately released into the Gaywood River 16 times last year for a reported total of over 180 hours. This is in addition to the treated sewage water which is continuously released into the river all year round.

Treated sewage release at Pott Row

Untreated sewage is also released from. Outfalls at Highgate and from a number of locations around the Millfleet although that data is incomplete since Anglian Water don’t yet monitor sewage releases at all locations.

The data gives a partial picture but the number of releases and the duration of those releases only tell part of the story. Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing the actual volume of untreated sewage released as no data is given about flow rates.

Rivers Trust Map

The Rivers Trust have an interactive map of outfalls at

These are the recorded releases and do not include the accidental spillages such as those that saw raw sewage flowing down Watery Lane at Grimston, directly into the source spring seven times last year due to pump and pipeline failures and during rainfall.


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