Important Freshwater Areas of the River Thame Catchment

Identification of locations of key importance for freshwater biodiversity in the River Thame Catchment

To underpin conservation action Freshwater Habitats Trust, in partnership with River Thame Conservation Trust and Thames Water, undertook analysis to identify the Important Freshwater Areas of the River Thame Catchment (IFAs). IFAs are locations of regional or national importance for freshwater biodiversity where protection, restoration and expansion should be prioritised to stem the decline in freshwater biodiversity. Here the analysis focused on a river catchment level and the IFAs identified are of local or catchment importance.

Thame IFA report 2021

To read the full analysis of the Thame Catchment IFAs click on the image below:

Interactive map of Thame catchment IFAs

IFAs typically comprise of groups of important freshwater habitats or wetlands, or areas with significant concentrations of feshwater Species of Conservation Concern (SOCCs). Within the River Thame Catchment, ten areas were identified as Important Freshwater Areas at the catchment scale (these are called ‘catchment IFAs’):

  • Broughton
  • Chalgrove Brook Upper Catchement
  • Holton Brook and Shabbington Wood
  • Marsworth Gravel Pit Lakes
  • River Thame at Chearsley
  • River Thame at Dorchester
  • Spartum Fen
  • Stadhampton Waters
  • River Thame and Floodplain from Waterstock to Shabbington
  • Wendover

Four areas were classified as potential Important Freshwater Areas (pIFAs), these are location with more limited data where further survey and investigations might elevate them to full IFA status in due course:

  • Chilterns Headwaters and Springs
  • Lower Denham
  • River Thame Floodplain at Cuddesdon
  • Wells Farm

For more information on the IFA concept and to see the results of analysis in other areas please visit: