• The springs at Abbey Farm are fed by rainfall on the surrounding landscape. Rain that neither evaporates nor is taken up by growing plants soaks through the soil and underlying chalk. When the water table in the chalk reaches the level of the springs, the springs start to flow
  • Most springs here typically flow from December to July each year. Others have a shorter season, while a few rarely stop
  • The water table in the chalk, and so the flow of the springs, is largely determined by rainfall during late autumn-early spring when most plants are dormant. Usually, all the rain during the plant growing season evaporates or is taken up by plants
  • The springs vary from tiny seepages in earth banks to holes in stream floors 5cm wide that flow strongly
  • Water abstraction from the chalk for public water supply may have affected water flow from the springs

Chalk spring
A chalk spring in a stream bed. The flow of spring water washes away plant material and other sediment to leave circles of bubbling sand