An introduction to England’s chalk streams: origins and history

The Geography and Environment postgraduate blog

If you’ve ever spent any amount of time in the English countryside, you’ve probably come across a chalk stream or two.  Spanning from the River Hull in Humberside to the River Frome in Dorset, English chalk streams are an integral part of our landscape history. Their distribution and unique characteristics are principally a function of their chalk geology; the result of chalk sedimentation during the Cretaceous period approximately 100-65 million years ago. Today, English chalk streams have great cultural, ecological and economic importance, which is tempered by a legacy of human intervention, natural environmental change and 21st century ecosystem demands.

Winnall Moors on the Itchen River

This introduction to English chalk streams will be the first in a series of blog posts discussing these groundwater-dominated rivers. In this post we will consider where chalk streams have come from and why it is essential to understand their history.

Although England’s chalk geology has been around for…

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About Trevor Bond

A Geomorphology Technical Officer at the Environment Agency. All opinions expressed herein are my own and do not necessary reflect the views of my employer.
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