A new strategy to restore our precious chalk streams to their former glory has just been published, and your feedback is now being sought before 15thJune.

The Chalk Stream Restoration Strategy has been developed by the CaBA Chalk Stream Restoration Group -  a collection of expert academics, government agencies, environmental charities and consultants brought together to tackle the major challenges facing our rarest rivers. Spearheaded by chalk stream champion Charles Rangeley-Wilson, the group has been working closely with statutory bodies, academic institutions and water companies to develop a novel approach to reverse chalk stream decline.

Chalk streams represent globally rare ecosystems with less than 250 existing worldwide, and 85% of these being located in England. These include the River Colne and its tributaries flowing through the Chiltern Hills, such as the Rivers Chess, Misbourne, Ver, Gade, Bulbourne and Alderbourne.

The vast majority of chalk streams have suffered in recent decades from over-abstraction for public water supply, pollution and the impacts of climate change. This new strategy aims to address these issues to drive a recovery in their health and secure greater protection for these precious rivers for future generations.

The Colne Catchment Action Network is encouraging all interested groups to have their say on the consultation. Partnership Manager and host of ColneCAN, James Champkin, said: “This new strategy is helping to bring the revitalisation of chalk streams back up the Government agenda – something that environmental charities have been working on for years. I’d urge all relevant stakeholders to use this opportunity to bang the drum again and make their voice heard”.

Details of how to respond to the consultation can be found here: https://catchmentbasedapproach.org/learn/caba-chalk-stream-restoration-strategy-consultation/

the River Misbourne

Design by LTD Design Consultants and build by Garganey Consulting. From an original concept by the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust.