The Shard Stream
Dear All
You will remember that some of us enjoyed a damp evening walk with Chris Uttley earlier this summer, when he showed us why he is excited about the streams which converge on our land at Bubblewell. The attached is a draft report of a visit by Chris and a colleague of his from Natural Engalnd. He has called the stream which rises in the Old Vineyard Field 'the Shard Stream'. We have recently named it 'the Hampton Stream'.
 
As you will see, the streams are:

 

excellent examples of highly natural headwater streams, with apparently good continuity with their springs and flushes. They provide a high diversity of habitat conditions characteristic of natural stream function, within each stream and between them….. These streams and their interconnected spring and flush habitat, all the way to the springs and flushes at their stream heads, should be included in the 2014 map of priority river habitat that is now subject to on-going local refinement. The Shard stream should probably also be included in an inventory of SAC habitat 7220 (petrifying springs with tufa formation (Cratoneurion)….. The overall management objective for stream/mire habitat in this area should be natural ecosystem function. Minimal intervention other than to restore lost natural function where needed…..The Bubblewell/Minchinhampton stream/spring/flush system should be seen as part of a network of headwater systems of high conservation value running off the south Cotswolds that should be conserved in an integrated way based on natural ecosystem functioning. 

 

The reference to the Shard (aka the Hampton Stream) being included in an inventory of SAC habitats, means that this habitat is considered by Natural England to be a good example of habitat of European importance. As you will see, the connection with the springs and flushes is a fundamental part of the value of this habitat.
 
Lovely to have official confirmation that this is an exceptional habitat.
 
Karen
11th Sept 2015