This brook flows north from its source above Postcombe to the south of Thame Park, then veers west around Moreton, skirting Thame town and entering the Cuttle Brook Nature Reserve, which is expertly run by the Cuttle Brook Conservation Volunteers. The brook joins the Thame near the A418 Thame ring road. The land use along the Brook varies between parkland, arable and urban.
In 2015 the Environment Agency classified the Cuttle Brook as “poor”, based on multiple factors. Water quality along the Brook is classified as “high” or “good” for all measurable factors (under Water Framework Directive), except for phosphate which is classified as “moderate”. The Cuttle Brook was targeted to reach an overall “poor” status by 2015, which is a very low target. The biggest issue on this brook is the macrophyte and invertebrate diversity. More surveys are needed to fully understand this Brook, but modification to the river banks makes it difficult for a diverse range of plants to survive. Without the plants, it will be difficult to support a diverse range of invertebrates.
You can find out more about the classification of rivers in our catchment by using the Environment Agency’s Catchment Data Explorer.
The river isn’t the only water that we are concerned with. There are multiple small waters including ponds, ditches and steams. All of which are highlighted on the map below.
Cuttlebrook Conservation Volunteers take monthly water quality samples from the reserve. These samples have helped to identify some likely sources of phosphate in to the brook and there is now an on-going investigation to determine the exact cause. This is an excellent example of action going forward due to volunteer data. Alongside this, when the Brook levels are low enough, monthly riverfly samples are carried out.
Towards the source of the brook, we currently do not have any sort of monitoring happening. You can find out more about our volunteer monitoring and how you could get involved in monitoring yourself here.