Monday, 30 January 2012

Ashwell Springs

Ashwell Springs feeds the River Rhee, the River Rhee is one of the main feeds to the River that runs through Cambridge, the river Cam.

From within the natural chalk around Ashwell, this beautifully clean water rises from several holes. The average flow is 1,300,000 gallons per day.

Ashwell springs maintain a nearly constant low water temperature throughout the year.

The springs flow into small pools with a flint gravel and chalk substratum. The springs and pools create a home and habitat for a specialised cold water invertebrate community, with species that are rare in Hertfordshire.

The springs are tucked away in a hollow, right in the centre of the village.Ashwell springs can be accessed from Ashwell's High Street

Ashwell Hertfordshire springs have been there for thousands of years. People have used them as a site for water and recreation.

Ashwell Springs
The site is very important for flatworms Platyhelminthes, along with a range of more common species that are found Crenobia alpina and Polycelis felina which represent "glacial relict" populations. Aswell as the flatworms the most numerous invertebrate species are the shrimp Gammarus pulex, the tiny snail Potamopygus jenkinsi, larvae of the Caddis-fly (Trichoptera) Drusus annulatus and chironomid midge larvae. The scarce Caddis-fly Apatania muliebris and Plectrocnemia geniculata occur, the latter usually a species of more north western distribution. The stonefly (Plecoptera) Nemurella picteti is also present, a species typically found at stream sources.

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