Keeping an eye on the endangered Chalk Rivers of Hertfordshire

We live in an area of Water Stress in Hertfordshire. On Saturday after I had attended two surgeries in the south of the constituency; Watton at Stone and Tewin, I took the chance to visit two of our local Chalk Rivers, the Beane and the Mimram. The Beane flows from the village of Cromer to Hertford, running beside Stevenage town and the Mimram from the village of Whitwell to Hertford, via Tewin. Britain’s Chalk Rivers are renowned for their purity and the variety of wildlife which enjoys their crystal clear waters, and in a densely populated county like Hertfordshire we are lucky to have such flora and fauna.

There are only 35 Chalk Rivers in whole of the UK, they are located in a broad area stretching from Dorset all the way up to the Hull in Humberside. The Mimram has a protected Site of Special Scientific Interest at Tewinbury with a bird watching hut.

Councillor Nigel Poulton beside the Beane

Councillor Nigel Poulton beside the Beane

The reason I went down to check on the rivers is because sadly each summer these unique rivers face the threat of running dry. Every time we have a hot summer the higher stretches of these rivers simply stop flowing. These periods of drought cause untold damage to the natural environment with the water dependent species being decimated.

At the moment both rivers look fantastic. I took the opportunity to take some photos of the rivers in full flow with my camera, and remarked to local councillors Linda Haysey and Nigel Poulton what a shame it is that in a beautiful county like Hertfordshire we have to fight to protect our precious natural environment.

Me beside the Mimram

Me beside the Mimram

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2 Responses to Keeping an eye on the endangered Chalk Rivers of Hertfordshire

  1. Emma says:

    But who is abstracting all the water Oliver? What are you doing about the Water Companies taking too much water when there’s not enough for the river? Did you know that in the South East of England we have less water available than in parts of the Sahara? We need to import it from Scotland or Wales, haven’t you ever heard of an aqueduct?!

  2. anthony Last says:

    Water is not a scarce resource in the U.K though sometimes it is in the wrong place. The Government choose to import more people and houses into the South East without providing either infra structure or jobs. They hope to solve water shortages by meters, i,e price rationing. Most major cities in the U.K.import water from upland areas e.g Manchester ( from Lake district; Liverpool (N.Wales). Birmingham (Mid Wales) To provide the London area deficit by a pipeline or desalination would cost less than the Millenium Dome.Reservoir storage will be needed anyway.

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