Are you looking for a new way to explore the great outdoors with your youth group or family and friends? You could learn all about our beautiful chalk streams and rivers whilst earning a special badge, with our Chalk Stream Challenge. Discover the wonders of this rare and precious habitat, which is full of amazing wildlife and heritage.
The challenge is suitable for those in Scouting, Guiding, other similar groups and individual families wanting to learn more about their local chalk stream or river. It involves activities that can easily be customised to suit different age ranges. There are several set routes to choose from, all of which are 'off-road’ but close to public transport, parking, and places to find refreshments and toilet facilities. If you have a chalk stream on your doorstep but it’s not covered by one of our set routes, you could devise your own.
The Chalk Stream Challenge was created by two brilliant volunteers, Hazel and Sarah, as part of the Watercress and Winterbournes Landscape Partnership Scheme. The scheme, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, features many projects focused on the Rivers Test and Itchen headwaters, including free education sessions for young people.
How it Works
To take part in the Chalk Stream Challenge with your family or group, choose a route from the list below and download the challenge documents. Here you'll find chalk streams facts, a route map, spotters guides, and activities for your group to complete.
Next, fill out your badge order form (also with the route documents) and email it to email@example.com. We offer fabric challenge badges for a small fee, but you can do the challenge without them - a certificate for home printing is provided.
Then, take your group to your chosen stream and get busy exploring. Share your favourite facts about these precious habitats and guide your group through their activities. Finally, reward their hard work with a badge, certificate, or both!
Choose your Challenge Route
Create Your Own
If you have a chalk stream in your area, but it isn't covered by our existing challenge routes, why not create your own? The activities that make up our challenge badge can take place on or near other chalk streams, just download the challenge documents and have a look at one or more of our suggested routes to get some ideas.
Just be sure, when exploring your chosen stream, to choose your route with care. Walk along it in wet weather to check it would be safe and accessible for all of your group members. If any of the route is on private land, ensure you have permission from the landowner.
Want to learn more about the geography and wildlife of our chalk streams? Why not expand your challenge and your group’s experience with a river dipping session. These give your group the chance to see fascinating animals up close, whilst also learning about how they thrive in these globally rare ecosystems.
For more information, contact the Education and Engagement team firstname.lastname@example.org or 01722 654253.