The 2013 survey by River Chess Association volunteers shows a worrying decline in the local water vole population.
The River Chess Association
The River Chess is a chalk stream that rises in Chesham in Buckinghamshire and runs through the Chess Valley to Rickmansworth, where it becomes a tributary of the Colne.
The Chess Valley is part of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, of which chalk streams are a characteristic feature. The Chess is home to a variety of important wildlife, such as water voles, brown trout and stream water crowfoot. The scenic river is enjoyed by walkers, fishermen, photographers and wildlife enthusiasts.
However, the Chess faces many threats, including low flows caused by abstraction for the public water supply, sewage discharges, and invasive species such as mink and Japanese knotweed. For this reason the River Chess Association was formed to protect and enhance the River Chess for future generations.
On our site, you can find out what makes the Chess special, the problems it is facing and how the River Chess Association is working to conserve the river.