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Chalk Stream Reflections, by Tim Hagyard

22nd September 2023

We are delighted to feature this excellent new book by our former CPRE Hertfordshire Planning Manager, Tim Hagyard.

During the pandemic summer of 2020, Tim set out to walk the entire length of each of Hertfordshire’s chalk streams. These globally-rare and precious waterways, and the wildlife habitats that they support, are under tremendous pressure from increasing abstraction and pollution. Tim wanted to explore the health of these local rivers and enjoy their beauty, and this book is the by-product of his explorations.

Tim says ‘The walk generated stories and opportunities, mapped in the book, to enhance our rivers as natural movement corridors. The experience added to my concerns, so I studied issues around water, rivers and governance and also took on a personal challenge to reduce my water use’.

Buy Chalk Stream Reflections

Many of Tim’s observations reinforce our own concerns about the state of our chalk streams. We believe it would be a big step forward if the planning system took note of the relationship between new housing and impacts on chalk streams, and indeed on all water resources. This is not just with respect to water supplies but waste water processing capacity and sewage outflows as well.

There will be no new water supplies until the early 2030s at the earliest, and there is only a finite amount of water. We remain deeply concerned for the future of our chalk streams.

What can you do to help?

Besides all of us endeavouring to reduce our water use, you could join our team as a volunteer focusing on water issues in Hertfordshire. If you have an interest in water issues, please get in touch with us at  for an informal conversation.


beautiful and tranquil scene on a river with lush green vegetation along the riverbanks
The weir on the River Mimram at Poplars Green Tim Hagyard