Tuesday 4 December 2012
While heavy rain in October and November caused flooding to many parts of the country, it has helped two Chilterns chalk streams to start flowing again. The Hughenden Stream near High Wycombe and Hamble Brook near Henley had been dry in part for nearly two years.
Despite a wet summer across the UK, groundwater levels in the Chilterns remained low as a result of the worst drought on record. As a consequence, although chalk streams across the country experienced a miraculous revival as a result of the 'washout' summer, the Chilterns chalk streams continued to suffer from low flows well into autumn. Now however, with over 150% of average rainfall in the last two months, groundwater levels have begun to recover and sections of the Hughenden Stream and Hamble Brook that have been dry for nearly two years have begun to spring back to life.
There is still someway to go before our streams recover fully from the last two years of drought, but with further rain over the winter period it is hoped that by spring 2013 they will be flourishing once again.