Chalk streams are an internationally rare habitat confined mainly to England and north west Europe. With their crystal clear waters and stable conditions, chalk streams support many plants and animals. They are home to some of the UK’s most threatened species, such as water voles and white-clawed crayfish.
In the Chilterns, chalk streams are a characteristic of the landscape, adding to the beauty and diversity of this special area. They include the Ver, Gade, Bulbourne, Chess, Misbourne, Hughenden Stream, Wye and Hamble Brook.
Led by the Chilterns Conservation Board, the Chilterns Chalk Streams Project is a partnership of statutory agencies, local authorities and voluntary bodies committed to the conservation and enhancement chalk streams in the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and to encourage enjoyment and understanding of them. The Project has the following objectives:
· Raising awareness of the importance of chalk streams and the need to conserve them
· Giving advice to landowners and managers on riverside management
· Practical conservation to improve the streams for wildlife
· Carrying our surveys to assess the quality of wildlife habitats and locate rare species
· Providing education resources for schools to help children understand the chalk stream environment
· Improving physical access to the streams where appropriate, and providing information about their special qualities
If you would like to find out more about the Project please visit the Chiltern Conservation Board’s website http://www.chilternsaonb.org/caring/chalk_streams_project.html
The Chilterns Chalk Streams Project has produced an education pack for schools on the special features, wildlife and history of Chilterns chalk streams. The pack consists of a CD ROM and booklet and is available free to schools and other education facilities. If you would like a copy please contact the Chilterns Conservation Board.