More news...

Feb 17, 2020
Category: Pollution
Posted by: Kathryn
On the 16th February, Thames Water's Chesham Sewage Treatment Works released storm sewage into the river.
Jan 15, 2020
Category: Pollution
Posted by: Kathryn

On 15th January, Thames Water's Chesham Sewage Treatment Works released storm sewage into the river.

Dec 15, 2019
Category: Wildlife
Posted by: Kathryn

Apex predators and fish populations can co-exist in a healthy ecosystem. There is advice and help available for any fishery owners concerned about the presence of otters on the Chess.

Dec 15, 2019
Category: Wildlife
Posted by: Kathryn

Otters are present on the Chess; part of the positive story of the recovery of this protected species from the brink of extinction.

Latest News

Otters

Dec 15, 2019

Category: Wildlife
Posted by: Kathryn

A young otter was found dead in the Chess Valley this Autumn, providing the first evidence that this protected species has found its way to the Chess. The dead otter was reported to the Environment Agency and was taken away for autopsy. Since that time, evidence of another otter has been found along the river, including spraint.

Otter sprint

Above: Otter spraint

We have not found any historical references to otters on the Chess, so this is thought to be the first confirmed sighting of an otter in the valley for over a century. This is a very positive part of the story of otter recovery from the brink of extinction.

Otters' diet consists of fish, crayfish, waterfowl and small mammals. Having examined some of the spraint, we have found the diet here to compose mainly of small fish such as stickleback and bullhead. We have a small population of wild fish on the Chess, which we will continue to monitor to see if the presence of otters is having an impact. In a balanced ecosystem there is room for a top predator and wild fish populations; it is our aspiration that both will thrive here.

Extra: