I recently compiled my best attempt at a complete index of all the English chalk-streams, partly to satisfy my own cataloguing obsession, partly because it was needed for WWF’s new report State of England’s Chalk-Streams 2014.
I’m often asked “What is a chalk-stream?” It is a difficult question to answer quickly. Chalk-streams are created by geology, the geology of England is complex and chalk-streams vary so much in character.
I worked on this index with Dr Haydon Bailey, a geologist with a keen interest in chalk, and we have started to sketch out some geological categorisations that help to shed light on those differences and show that what we have, in reality, is a spectrum of pure chalk-streams and chalk-influenced rivers.
In time I will work this index into a series of catchment-based maps, which will include those geological sub-categorisations on which Haydon and I will do more work.
The index is certainly not complete. Already I have been promised updates for Buckinghamshire! Please send feedback to me at the contact email on this blog and I will include corrections and additions and credit the contributors.
In the meanwhile, I hope this index proves a useful resource for those who are interested in the conservation of English chalk-streams.
To make sense of the lay-out, please read the notes on the lay-out at the head of the index.
It is available to view here: