Practice Philosophy

“Helping Pet owners of Mersea Island and surroundings to maintain the well being of their beloved family pet, through provision of veterinary care and education on responsible ownership.”

Blackwater Vets is an independent veterinary practice located on the sailing island of West Mersea.
A cat friendly clinic, a dog friendly registered practice and accredited with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), our aim is to meet the holistic needs of your pet at every moment of their stay.

As soon as you walk through the door, you and your pet will be welcomed and cared for by our friendly staff.

No question is silly and you will never be rushed.  We want to build a great relationship with you and your pet.

Please call the practice or click on the fine print tab at the bottom of this page if you have any questions such as the care of in-patients, the practice’s complaints handling policy, normal consulting hours, operating times, fee or charging structures, procedures for second opinions and referrals and/or access to or ownership of records.

Care of patients overnight:

If any of your patients need care overnight our out of hours service Vets Now will provide fully staffed overnight care and out of hours provision with a qualified veterinary surgeon and a qualified veterinary nurse staying with your pet throuhout their time at Vets Now.

Animals will need to be moved between Vets Now and Blackwater Vets by their owners between the hours of closing and opening of these respective clinics.


The Blackwater Team


Ola graduated from Warmia university in Poland in 2000. After a couple of years in practice she decided to visit Australia and travel the world. Arriving in the UK in 2006, Ola completed an internship at VRCC, now Southfields, in oncology and critical care. Ola then worked in various veterinary practices across England before settling in Kent where she managed a small independent practice. Following a lifetime’s dream to live by the sea, Ola bought Blackwater Vets and moved to Mersea Island.  Ola’s professional interests are in oncology, cytology and feline medicine.  Ola is the cat advocate for Blackwater Vets and also has post graduate qualifications in business and management.  In her spare moments Ola tends to her flower gardens which exist both at the practice and at her home on the island.


Claudia, our receptionist, loves horses.  She owns two of them and regularily shows. She also owns a lively young German Shepherd called Cooper. 



Lana is our veterinary physiotherapist and canine hydrotherapist. She obtained her Master’s degree at Writtle Univeristy with additional qualifications in canine massage therapy. Lana has 2 rescue dogs from Cyprus, who train and compete in local obedience competitions and also enjoys horse riding.


Wendy is our receptionist.  She is a huge animal lover and a mother of many. Wendy’s inventory includes 2 cats, 2 dogs, 2 horses, 6 children and a grownup man-child called Martin.


Donkers is our feisty little black cat, Originally brought in as a stray and desperately underweight, he now is in very good health & has a penchant for expensive hotels!


Dear Clients, I am sorry to inform you that from 14.06 until 21.06.2021 we will be closed. This is a precaution measure and following advice from Public Health England. Locum staff member contracted Covid-19 despite taking all precautions All my staff (myself included) is now in self-isolation . I would like to stress that due to our meticulous protocols this situation DID NOT cause any risk of potential exposure to the virus for our clients. For continuity of care and to insure that clinical records will be exchanged Dr Anita James of St Runwald's Vets in Colchester (ph01206572173) kindly agreed to see emergencies and urgent medical cases for duration of this period during our opening hours. All the vets are experiencing staff shortages and working under immense pressure, so please make sure routine inquiries and non urgent matter will wait until we re-open on 22.06. Our OOH remains the same- Vets Now Colchester. I am very sorry for inconvenience this will cause and would like to thank you for understanding and your cooperation. Take care Ola x


We lost our beloved Molly early on 7.07.19
Now she runs over the rainbow bridge. Below is her tribute:
Molly used to be Ola’s patient. Being half Labrador and half Alsatian, she was trained to be a guide dog making daily trips to the city with her owner. Once, when public transport was inoperable she guided her owner home for over a mile and a half in the snow.. She also naughtily guided him to the opticians instead of to her appointment to the next door vets !!
Molly retired with Ola and loved living on Mersea. She was a hugely important member of our team as well as being a keen socialite, regular at the Coast Inn and wild swimmer off the Mersea coast. Thank you Molly for all the comfort and loyalty you offered everyone within your life. It has been an honour to know you.



Rachael is our veterinary nurse. She obtained a degree in zoology before  going on to study for a diploma in veterinary medicine. Rachael has worked in veterinary medicine since 2014 and gained Registerd Veterinary Nurse (RVN) status in 2019. She is particularly interested in surgical nursing and canine behaviour. Rachael has two family dogs,  beagle called Millie and a yorkie cross called Phoebe.



Ashleigh is our student veterinary nurse, having begun her training this year. Ashleigh is the queen of organisation here at Blackwater vets and ensures everything runs smoothly throughout the day. Whilst Ashleigh’s pretty cat called Peanut is the light of her life, she also has another grumpy cat called Crumpet and a gorgoues cockerpoo called Bertie. 

2 Mill Road, West Mersea

Colchester, Essex



Opening Hours:

Mon-Fri:  8:30 - 19:00

Sat: 8:30 - 12:30

Tel: 01206 384999

 Sun & BH: closed

Out of Hours Tel : 01206 842224

Additionally we are closed:

Sat 16th April

Sat 3rd June 



Did you know? ..Blackwater Vets is one of only just a few veterinary practices in the Colchester region that hold cat friendly clinic status?