The River Roding Project information page

Closes 31 Oct 2023

Opened 12 Sep 2018


Updated 27 September 2022

This page provides a latest update, a summary of our work and the background to the project which aims to reduce flooding to homes, businesses and infrastructure in the Woodford and Ilford areas, as well as how we plan to improve the River Roding for people and wildlife

Latest project progress

  • Public Right of Way diversion - we have been working on the new proposed route for public footpath 'Stanford Rivers 47'. Please see the proposed route below and get in touch if you have any comments.
  • Updating river modelling, this included updating the hydrology data used in the model to refine how the river  responds during flood events. This will help us understand the benefits the project will deliver.
  • Working on landscaping plans to provide 20% biodiversity net gain (BNG) in the Roding catchment. This includes new backwater channels for fish, and areas of wet woodland.
  • We have been engaging with two local planning authorities and Essex County Council for pre-application advice on the planning application, drainage strategies and highway matters.

What's next?

  • Further trial trenches and archaeology work will be carried out on the new proposed landscape features
  • We are hoping to submit the planning application to both Epping Forest District Council and Brentwood Borough Council by the end of this year.
  • With permissions and funding in place we are aiming to begin construction in summer 2023.

This page will be reviewed every 3 months and updated as necessary


The River Roding Project will reduce flooding to residential properties, commercial properties and infrastructure in the Woodford and Ilford areas.

The project includes building a flood storage area (FSA) on the River Roding, upstream of the M25, at Shonks Mill Bridge. The FSA will allow the river to flow naturally most of the time, however in times of high flows, water will build up and be stored behind the earth embankment creating a temporary reservoir, reducing the risk of flooding downstream. This will then drain naturally back into the river as flows reduce.

The project also includes refurbishing a flood embankment downstream in Woodford to withstand the estimated impacts of climate change.

The diagram below shows how the FSA will work. In times of high flows, flood water will be held behind the impoundment structure (earth embankment) while a controlled flow will be able to pass through the structure, reducing the flow downstream.

Public Right of Way Diversion

To build the flood embankment, we will have to permanently divert the public footpath 'Stanford Rivers 47' around the earth embankment. The below map shows the original route and the new proposed route around the embankment. If you use this footpath or have any comments about how we will divert it, please get in touch.

Why are we doing these works?

There has been an increased frequency of flood events over the past 20 years. The most serious flood in recent decades occurred in October/November 2000. Over 400 homes in Woodford were flooded, there was widespread disruption to local infrastructure and major roads (including Charlie Browns roundabout) were closed for over a week. Climate change data shows that the frequency and intensity of such events will increase over the coming years, so it is important we reduce the impact of flooding on the local area.

As well as the economic damage that occurs after a flood event, flooding also has an impact on peoples' wellbeing. Flooding often causes financial stress, disruptions to daily life and can impact peoples' mental health.

As part of this project, we aim to also improve the environment to encourage the community to enjoy the environment and promote a healthier lifestyle to help improve local communities wellbeing.

Pictured above: Ariel photograph of the Roding flooding in December 2019, taken by a local resident

Pictured above: Photo taken during the floods in 2000.

Please note our proposals will reduce the risk of flooding and climate change impact but will not eliminate the risk altogether.

Are you prepared for flooding?

  1. Sign up to flood warnings and give yourself time to protect yourselves and your valuables. Visit or call Floodline on 0345 988 1188 to check your areas is covered and sign up to receive real-time alerts.
  2. Know what to do if it floods with a personal flood plan. Download a template:
  3. Help your community build flood resilience by creating a community flood plan. Download a template:


  • Recreational and commercial river users
  • Fishing clubs and representative associations
  • Members of the public with an interest in the river, the species and conservation
  • Businesses
  • Charities
  • Statutory organisations
  • NGOs
  • Members of the public
  • Elected representatives, including MPs
  • Local councils
  • Local authorities
  • District and parish councils
  • Environmental bodies
  • Land owners
  • Water companies
  • Members of the public
  • Recreational and commercial river users
  • Community groups
  • Flood action groups
  • Members of the public
  • Community groups
  • Lead Local Flood Authorities
  • Local Risk Management Authorities
  • Members of the public
  • Town and parish councils


  • Flood management
  • Water quality
  • Habitats and wildlife