The Stoke Brook originates close to Halton and then flows around Stoke Mandeville before reaching the main town of Aylesbury. The brook flows close to the edge of the town and makes it one of the most urban rivers in the catchment; this, of course, comes with its own pressures such as fly-tipping and litter. There are no sewage treatment works on the brook, but it does suffer from road run-off. Locally, the Stoke Brook has been the topic of much discussion surrounding flooding, as it runs very closely to properties that have been flooded in the past. There are projects being proposed to deal with this, many of them designed to deal with the surface water which contributes to the majority of the problem. Overall, the land-use varies between urban, arable and pasture. Recent surveys have revealed that most of the land in the upper brook is semi-improved grassland which is likely to be used for grazing.
A new pressure on the Stoke Brook is likely to come about with the new High Speed 2 (HS2) railway. HS2 will cut the brook and surrounding ditches a number of times, and we are currently working with our partners to discuss ways in which we can mitigate for any impact.
In 2015, the Environment Agency classified the Stoke Brook as “moderate” (meeting its 2015 target). The moderate status was due to the moderate phosphate levels and macrophytes. As there are no sewage treatment works in the area, it is very likely that misconnections are an issue here, which will cause high levels of phosphate to enter the brook without being treated. You can learn more about these here. An overall target for 2027 has not been released yet, but most factors should be able to reach a “good” status.
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.
More recently we have started to receive regular water quality monitoring results from our volunteers. We have also completed a walkover survey of most of the Brook to help determine the impact that HS2 may have and what mitigation can be proposed. You can find some of our suggested projects under the projects tab.
We would love to extend our volunteer monitoring in this area, particularly riverfly and water quality monitoring, to find out if there are some areas that should be celebrated or places that need improvement. You can find out more about our volunteer monitoring and how you could get involved in monitoring yourself here.
There are currently no groups that are working specifically on the Stoke Brook. If you would like to get involved by starting a local group in your area, then please get in touch.