Photographer releases photo essay focusing on historic Herts chalk stream

river mimram hertfordshire

A shot from Panshanger. - Credit: Toby Shelley

A Hitchin-based photographer has shared a stunning photo essay covering the ancient River Mimram in his latest blog post.

Keen photographer Toby Shelley, who has lived in Hitchin for the last 20 years, had already spent the last lockdown exploring Hertfordshire's bountiful greens.

This time round, Toby has delved into the "precious" River Mimram, a river whose origin is so ancient, it's difficult to understand where its very name came from.

horse eats grass in field

A shot taken near Codicote and Kimpton Mill. - Credit: Toby Shelley

The Thames Region Environmental Agency has already worked to study the River Mimram's lowering levels of water flow in recent times, and Toby says it is under threat from environmental changes.

padlocks chained to fence

A shot by Toby Shelley for his Walsworthblog. - Credit: Toby Shelley

Rising from a spring in Whitwell, near St Paul's Walden, the Mimram snakes its way south weaving in and out of pretty villages and hamlets en route to Hertford where it meets the River Lea.

abandoned train tracks submerged in water

Nine Wells, captured by Toby Shelley for his Walsworthblog. - Credit: Toby Shelley

And Toby's Walsworthblog captures some of the beautiful history, wildlife, eco-system and more in his powerful pictures.

horned cow looks at camera

A selection of Toby Shelley's latest shots for Walsworthblog. - Credit: Toby Shelley

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He said: "The Mimram - a name so ancient nobody knows what it means - is one of our internationally rare chalk streams. It is a haven for wildlife. Yet its course has been manipulated and changed by people over the centuries.

"Medieval fish ponds drew from it, water cress farms and water mills have required diversions to the flow, and owners of stately homes had it landscaped. Today the river is threatened by climate change and over extraction of water."

To read on about the Mimram, and enjoy more of Toby's photography, visit

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