The River Wensum is the largest chalk-fed river in Norfolk, and paradoxically is a tributary of the River Yare, despite being the larger of the two. The river is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC).
Its source can be found between the villages of Colkirk and Whissonsett. From here, the Wensum winds its way southeast for 30 miles through rich agricultural land and various urban areas. The River Wensum aptly takes its name from the Anglo-Saxon word for ‘winding’.
In its lower reaches, the river forms part of the Broads National Park. Eventually, it enters the city of Norwich, before merging with the River Yare at Whitlingham.
River Wensum Projects
Himalayan Balsam on the River Wensum
Ongoing since October 2020
Norfolk Rivers Trust and the Norfolk Non-native Species Initiative (NNNSI) have joined forces to remove Himalayan Balsam from the Wensum catchment.
Run-off mitigation at a site in the Wensum River Catchment
October - December 2019
In Autumn 2019, the Water Sensitive Farming Initiative funded the creation of a 3-pool wetland to filter farmland and road run-off, before it enters the Wensum. The pools were planted with native wetland species in June 2020. As well as ...
Flood risk management: Slowing the flow
October 2018 - January 2019
A section of a River Wensum tributary, which had previously been dredged, embanked and re-aligned, has been restored as part of a wider Natural Flood Management and Habitat Improvement project.
Ongoing since January 2017
A project that uses a web-based planning system to collate data, knowledge and evidence to formulate a working report on pressures facing the River Wensum in Norfolk.
Silt traps on the River Wensum
Three linked sediment traps have been installed on a farm near the Blackwater, a tributary that eventually feeds into the River Wensum, to improve water quality.