Central Chiltern Chalk Rivers

This area comprises of the valleys of 2 chalk streams – the Wye and the Misbourne. The Wye Valley connects the Upper Hughenden Valley, Radnage Valley and Gomm Valley BOAs while the Misbourne connects to the Colne Valley.

Area Coverage: 2150 ha
Local wildlife sites: 9
BAP Habitat: 
Chalk Rivers
Lowland Beech and Yew Woodland: 39 ha
Lowland Mixed Deciduous Woodland: 8 ha
Lowland Meadows: 0.5 ha
Purple Moor Grass & Rush Pastures: 3 ha
Wood Pasture and Parkland: 84.5 ha

Joint Character Area: Chilterns, Thames Valley

Landscape Types: The Misbourne flows through a wooded agricultural landscape until it’s lower reaches where it has an unwooded wetland landscape, The Wye Valley is predominantly urban until south of Loudwater where it is wooded agricultural.

Geology: Chalk except for the final reaches of the Misbourne which is mudstone. There is alluvium on the valley bottoms and wider sands and gravels on the lower reaches of both.

Topography: Valleys with steep slopes with protruding spurs and a strong convex profile to the upper slopes. The valley bottoms are gently sloping with little flood plain.

Rivers / Streams – Both the Misbourne and Wye are chalk streams and are a priority in the UK Rivers and Streams HAP.
Lowland Meadows – There are lowland meadows at Old Rectory Meadows SSSI in the Misbourne Valley.
Lakes – Shardeloes Lake in Misbourne Valley.
Woodland – There are 2 woodland LWSs in the Wye Valley.
Traditional Orchards – There are potential BAP orchards in both valleys.
Wood Pasture & Parkland – There are potential parklands in both valleys – Misbourne Valley; Missenden Abbey, Shardeloes, Denham Place and Wye Valley; West Wycombe Hughenden Manor, Wycombe Abbey.
Hedgerows – Some areas of the Misbourne Valley contain pre-18th century enclosures which may contain species rich hedgerows.

Chalk Rivers – Management, Restoration
Lowland Meadows – Management, Restoration, Creation
Eutrophic Standing Water– Management, Restoration
Woodland – Management, Restoration
Traditional Orchards – Management, Restoration
Wood Pasture & Parkland – Management, Restoration
Hedgerows – Management, Restoration, Creation

There are historic parks and gardens in both valleys – Misbourne Valley –Missenden Abbey, Shardeloes, Denham Place and Wye Valley – West Wycombe, Hughenden Manor, Wycombe Abbey.


Places to visit:
West Wycombe Park (National Trust)

The Rye & Kings Mead

 Hughenden Park (National Trust)