Looking for unrecorded chalk streams

(Pictured above: a scarp-face chalk stream in Oxfordshire)

The South East Rivers Trust has issued a call for help in identifying chalk streams in their region. Please have a look at the link HERE.

For other areas, it’s worth noting that Natural England has welcomed this work from SERT, as it specifically works off and feeds into the new, updated NE map that we worked on last year. If you suspect that there are unidentified chalk streams in your region, then take a look at the SERT project or get in touch with them to study how they have run through the process of identifying, checking and notifying.

As SERT points out, while all the “classic”chalk streams are recorded, along the spring-line of the scarp slopes (ie what tends to be the north-east face of the chalk, where it sits on older layers of flint and greensand) there are currently numerous unrecorded chalk springs and rills.

These may even be nameless but are nevertheless ecologically very special. We need to think less in terms of chalk stream catchments here, as chalk spring-lines and their associated habitats.

A well-hidden scarp-face chalk stream near Cambridge

2 thoughts on “Looking for unrecorded chalk streams

  1. Wonderful! It might be possible that The Bourne Stream in Talbot Heath ,in Dorset,may have chalk in it? Maybe from the river Stour or the river Avon? Katerina. Xx


    1. Hi Katerina, I don’t know if you saw my longer reply on the priority habitat map post? As the crow flies the nearest chalk – as the outcropping bedrock – from the Alderney roundabout (which is where I think the Little Bourne starts?) is about 5 miles to Cowgrove, just west of Wimborne. But the hills are north of this on the far side of the Stour. So, I don’t think that the Little Bourne can be deriving its flow from the chalk aquifer. The scarp-face springs we are talking about in this blog post actually rise at the base of the chalk and are directly fed by chalk aquifers. There are a few streams like this between Blandford and Shaftesbury, for example. Why don’t you drop me an email from the contact page and let me know why you are so keen for the Little Bourne to be a chalk stream: is it because of local development? Or the subject of an academic study? V best, Charles.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s