Fowlmere Springs LGS
The popular nature reserve, owned and managed by the RSPB, lies to the west of the village of Fowlmere, south of Cambridge. It contains the most extensive springs to be found in the county, producing several pools and a chalk stream. The springs are thought to emanate from the underlying Totternhoe Stone with the water rising under pressure through natural fissures. The Totternhoe Stone lies at the base of the Upper Cretaceous Zig Zag Chalk (exposed at the site) and overlies the West Melbury Marly Chalk. The natural springs provided a good supply of water that encouraged the farming of watercress to commence at around 1890. The site reveals an interesting aspect of engineering geology as the watercress farmers were dissatisfied with the lack of continuity of flow from the springs and drove metal pipes through the ground to access a more stable supply of water. Natural water flow through the springs has declined in recent years due to water abstraction from the Chalk, and is now enhanced at the site via water pumped from elsewhere. It was designated an LGS in October 2022.
This RSPB reserve is open to the public daily (car parking charge/donation for non RSPB members). For full details including location see here.
Geological data from 1:50,000 scale BGS Digital Data under Licence No. 2021/001 British Geological Survey © UKRI. All rights reserved. Hillshade layer is from LIDAR data © Environment Agency 2021.