Dorton, Chearsley and Waddesdon Brook


The Dorton, Chearsley and Waddesdon Brooks are a collection of brooks that stretch all the way up to near the top of Worminghall Brook. They are made up of a main brook with small tributaries, but the main part of the waterbody runs through Dorton, down alongside the railway track through Chearsley and then meets the Main River at Notley Abbey. It is clear from the map that this brook has been severely straightened alongside the railway tracks, but as the brook meets the Thame it is visibly more natural with its intricate meanders. There is one sewage treatment works on this waterbody – Dorton STW. This is a small works and therefore does not strip phosphorus.

In 2015, the Environment Agency classified the Dorton, Chearsley and Waddesdon Brooks as “poor” (meeting the 2015 objective), this classification is based on multiple factors but is mainly driven by the poor classification of phosphate and macrophytes. In 2014 the brooks were classified as “moderate”, but the deterioration is only due to collecting more data, particularly on macrophytes which had not been monitored before and were classified as “poor”. Both dissolved oxygen and phosphate levels are moderate in this catchment and a 2027 target is yet to be set. We hope to see these brooks improve, but habitat improvement and community/landowner engagement will be key to making significant improvements.

You can find out more about the classification of rivers in our catchment by using the Environment Agency’s Catchment Data Explorer.


Small Waters

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.dorton-chearsley-and-waddesdon-brooks-small-waters


There are no planned or suggested projects for this area at the moment, if you have any suggestions then we would love to hear from you.


We currently have no volunteers regularly monitoring in this area. You can find out more about our volunteer monitoring and how you could get involved in monitoring yourself here.

Other Groups

There are currently no groups that are working specifically on the Dorton, Chearsley and Waddesdon Brooks. If you would like to get involved by starting a local group in your area, then please get in touch.