The battle to save England’s chalk streams, one of the planet’s rarest habitats


Rivers are especially vulnerable to water abstraction and global heating, but now there is hope for River Chess

Conservationist Allen Beechey remembers a time, in the 1990s, when trout swam along the River Chess as it meandered through the centre of his home town of Chesham. “It was a gentle, reassuring sight and it helped trigger my love of nature,” Beechey said last week.

Then came the droughts, the river dried up – sometimes for several years at a stretch – and the fish died out. They have yet to come back to the Buckinghamshire town.

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