There are only 210 chalk streams in the world, of which 160 are in England. Although, at around 2.5 miles, Ewelme Brook is the shortest chalk stream in the Chilterns we are privileged to have one of these globally endangered important wildlife assets flowing through our village.
The Brook brings a spine of natural beauty right into the village, and connects up with our nearest Local Nature Reserve, the Watercress Beds in Ewelme.
The brook is important for wildlife with some of the birds including kingfisher, grey wagtail, grey heron and little egret. Brown trout and bullhead can be seen if you look carefully, water voles have been recorded in the past but less welcome news is that non-native signal crayfish are present.
The lower reaches of the brook flow through Benson’s most important area of semi-natural habitat, the area around the Cuckoo Pen Nursery and Millbrook Mead.
Members of BNG undertake regular riverfly monitoring on the Brook, which helps monitor the health of the watercourse, and would be delighted to show others the ropes.
BNG would welcome observations from the brook to add to our knowledge. Do get in touch if you have the skills to help us build our knowledge.
Watercourses like the brook are very sensitive to pollution. If you are lucky enough to live next to ours, do be careful about the sort of products you use in your garden and how they are disposed of.
The brook is an extremely valuable local resource and we need to look after it.