The South Chilterns catchment
The South Chilterns catchment is the southern half of the Thame and South Chilterns Managed Catchment that in turn forms part of the Thames River Basin District. The catchment includes parts of both the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and the North Wessex Downs (AONB) . The boundary between the two areas is marked by the River Thames.
Though both areas are chalk uplands, their character differs. The North Wessex Downs AONB includes both uplands and lower land towards the Thames, while the Chilterns AONB is generally of a more enclosed and wooded nature. It has three distinct geographical areas:
- in the West is the River Pang, a chalk stream rising in a rural area flowing through West Berkshire to enter the River Thames at Pangbourne;
- the navigable River Thames flowing through the middle of the catchment between Wallingford and Cookham;
- and in the east is the River Wye, an urban chalk stream rising near High Wycombe and entering the Thames at Bourne End.
Our partnership vision for the catchment
Our partnership aims to bring together all the interested parties in the South Chilterns Catchment to collaboratively protect, enhance and improve its water environment through a shared vision:
“A healthy and sustainable water environment throughout the South Chilterns catchment area in which all significant water bodies achieve and maintain Good Ecological Status, and:
- The waterscapes and heritage assets of the catchment, the iconic River Thames in particular,
are protected, enhanced and valued by all.
- People of all ages value and enjoy the water environment and participate actively in its
- Our globally rare chalk streams are naturalised and sustainable. Wildlife thrives throughout the catchment.
- River flows throughout the catchment are managed sustainably.
- Surface waters are of good quality, supporting rich and sustainable ecological diversity throughout the catchment.”
We are an inclusive partnership including local authorities, government agencies, environmental NGOs, community groups, businesses and academia. Our partnership brings together a range of sectoral interests. Some of the key catchment partners are:
- Action for the River Kennet
- Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT)
- British Canoeing
- Buckinghamshire Council
- Chiltern Rangers CIC
- Chiltern Society
- Chilterns AONB
- Chilterns Chalk Streams Project
- Environment Agency
- Forestry Commission
- Kennet Valley Fisheries Association
- Little Marlow Lakes and Countryside Park
- Natural England
- North Wessex Downs AONB
- Pang Valley Flood Forum
- Reading University
- Revive The Wye Partnership
- South Oxfordshire District Council
- Thames Water
- UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH)
- West Berkshire Countryside Society
- Withymead Nature Reserve
We are keen to ensure that everyone who wants to work together to improve the rivers in the South Chilterns Catchment can do so.
Do you have questions or project ideas? Get in touch with us.
- For whole catchment questions and for questions related to the river Thames between Wallingford and Cookham, contact Jessica van Grootveld: 07849 087833
- For the River Pang, the Sulham Brook, Mill Brook, Bradfords Brook system, Cholsey Brook and tributaries contact Charlotte Hitchmough, firstname.lastname@example.org
- For the South Chilterns Chalk Streams (Wye, Hughenden, Hamble Brook, Ewelme Brook, Berrick & Lady Brook) contact Allen Beechey, email@example.com