A Crystal Clear Ebble

The Ebble is a globally rare type of river known as a chalk stream. Over 80% of the worlds chalk streams are found in southern England alone. Rich in both flora and fauna, chalk streams are an irreplaceable part of our natural history. 

We want to support local landowners, communities and volunteers to protect and enhance the health of the Ebble for now, and future generations. 

How you can get involved 

QR code for the survey app
River Ebble Survey App QR Code

If you’re part of the communities who live along the river, if you own a section of river bank or have land near the river, have carried out (river) surveys, into fishing or are just interested in watery matters this project could be for you.

The Wessex Rivers Trust has already carried out some surveys of the river and this will continue throughout the project. You can also get involved by downloading one of the Crystal Clear Ebble Apps which will help us monitor and survey life on the river.

The River Ebble General Survey App helps record which species you see when out and about near the Ebble and the River Ebble Fixed Point Photography App helps to monitor change annually or through the seasons. Fixed point photography is used extensively as a technique to monitor changes in protected areas and the more people who are able to use this on the Ebble the better so please download the apps and get involved.

QR code
Fixed Point Photography App QR Code

If you’re interested in volunteering with us and want to find out more. Contact Roland Hughes, our Ranger and Volunteer Co-ordinator or visit our Volunteering page.




Tell me more about what I would be doing?

River Ebble
Photograph by Charlotte Moreton, Spring 2020.

Surveys and volunteering: Improving our understanding of the Ebble and its wildlife will be key for informing what actions we need to take on the ground, to protect and enhance the river. We would love to hear from you if you would like to get involved in surveys and practical management in and around the river. We offer free training to volunteers and River Wardens. 

Land and river management: If you are a landowner in the Chalke Valley, or your garden borders the banks of the Ebble, we can offer free advice and support on how you can help manage your land for the benefit of the river. 

The River Ebble

The River Ebble lies in what is locally known as the Chalke Valley, in the north of the Chase & Chalke Landscape Partnership area.

The river runs through the villages of Berwick St John, Alvediston, Ebbesbourne Wake, Broadchalke, Bishopstone, Coombe Bissett and beyond, before joining the Avon just south of Salisbury.

Long associated with watercress beds, it has classic chalk stream characteristics, with clear water, low soft margins and plant communities dominated by water crowfoot, starwort and water moss.

Unlike the the chalk streams found to the east, the Ebble flows through a mixed geology such as gault clays and greensand bedrock, giving rise to a greater variation in flows, compared to other chalk rivers. But despite its beauty, like many of England’s lowland rivers it is heavily modified and has suffered from pollution, habitat disturbance, rising temperatures and changes in water quality, all of which have placed it under significant strain.

Educational outreach will be provided to local primary schools, in which children will have the opportunity to learn about their local river, both indoors and outdoors. The aim of the project is to connect children, and their parents, with the River Ebble and inspire continued positive ownership.

We’ll develop a blog to work with local schools and communities to celebrate why their river is so important and the vital work being done along the valley. Children will be encouraged to become citizen journalists, interviewing landowners, volunteers and others.


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