Chalk streams are a characteristic and attractive feature of the Chilterns landscape. They are also a globally rare habitat. In fact there are only 283 chalk streams in the UK, and the UK accounts for around 85% of the global total.
Chalk streams are important habitats for wildlife and support a massive range of species. They are home to some of our most threatened plants and animals, such as the water vole and brown trout. They also have a fascinating history and supported many thriving industries in the past.
Our three films provide an excellent overview, explaining ‘What are chalk streams, and why are they special‘, How chalk streams work, and exploring the threats they face.
The nine Chilterns’ chalk streams are so important that a special partnership project has been created to conserve them. Uniting all the organisations with an interest in the streams, the Chilterns Chalk Streams Project works with local people across the Chilterns to improve river habitats, improve access and enjoyment and promote the sustainable use of water.
Find out more
School visit information and educational chalk stream resources for primary, secondary and beyond.
Chalk Streams in Crisis
Despite the rarity and value of chalk streams, these precious and unique freshwater ecosystems are at risk.
For 25 years the Chilterns Chalk Streams Project has worked to conserve, enhance and raise awareness of this globally important habitat.
Our 25th Anniversary
We’re pleased to publish the ’25 Years of the Chilterns Chalk Streams Project’ report which summarises project activities, looks at the past and current condition of the Chilterns streams, and sets outs the future vision for the project.
Enhancing the Ewelme Brook
With river restoration training days, guided walks and a new advice leaflets for homeowners, there’s plenty going on along the...
The New and Improved Chess Valley Walk!
We are very excited that the Chess Valley Walk has new interpretation boards and signage!
The Heart of the Chilterns: Volunteers #5 Hefin Rhys, Chess Watch Volunteer
Hefin Rhys volunteers on the ChessWatch project which monitors the water quality of the River Chess.
Riverfly Training Day
- 13th May
Learn more about the Riverfly method through the Chilterns