Chalk streams are a unique type of spring-fed river distinct to England and parts of France. In their natural state, chalk streams are gin-clear, with little sediment, low nutrient levels and stable temperatures at the spring sources of around 10ºC. They are diverse ecosystems home to otter, brown trout, water vole and lamprey. The spring heads are home to rare flat worms (crenobia alpina) and native water crowfoot species, a member of the buttercup family (ranuculus species).
Chalk Streams are a precious resource for the Lincolnshire Wolds AONB. On 23 March 2004 the Lincolnshire Wolds Joint Advisory Committee endorsed the setting up of a Chalk Streams Sub-Group, known as the Lincolnshire Chalk Streams Project (LCSP). This partnership of organisations proposed to take action to ensure that the nature conservation, landscape, community, and economic interests were considered when working on chalk streams. The project was launched in 2005 with landowners from across the Lincolnshire Wolds AONB at a demonstration site of chalk stream restoration on the Waithe Beck. Since then, the LCSP has regularly contributed to several of the objectives and targets outlined in the Lincolnshire Wolds AONB Management Plans.
During this time the LCSP has:
- restored and enhanced over 50 km of chalk stream
- surveyed over 60 km of chalk stream and surrounding habitat
- provided specialist training for over 90 volunteers
- educated over 1,000 children about chalk streams
- engaged with 1,000’s of individuals raising awareness of chalk streams in the Lincolnshire Wolds AONB.