Welcome to Friends of the Rib & Quin


Friends of the Rib & Quin (FORQ) is a community based organisation dedicated to improving the plight of our local chalk streams, which like the other rare and precious chalk streams across Hertfordshire and the south east of England are in crisis due to over abstraction and pollution.

Our objectives are to raise awareness of these important and rare river environments through events throughout the year, benchmark and monitor the river landscape, wildlife and biodiversity through citizen science projects and campaign, with other river groups to reduce and stop the over abstraction of the chalk aquifer which has been slowly depleting this environment for decades.

Latest News

The Quin from Barkway to Braughing, The Rib from Therfield to Braughing
and The Rib from Braughing to the River Lea

More News and Blog Posts

OEP launches investigation into the regulation of combined sewer overflows

PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OFFICE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION “The Office for Environmental Protection (OEP) can announce today (Tuesday, June 28) that it is to carry out an investigation into the roles of Ofwat, the Environment Agency and the Defra Secretary of State in the regulation of combined sewer overflows (CSOs) in England.   The aims… Continue reading OEP launches investigation into the regulation of combined sewer overflows

Summer Arts Festival in Buntingford

FORQ had the pleasure of joining Herts & Middlesex Trust on their stall at Buntingford’s Summer Arts Festival at Layston Gardens. The weekend music & arts event attracted crowds of local Buntingford residents and those from further afield, which provided a great opportunity to talk to visitors about our chalk streams, discuss plans for the… Continue reading Summer Arts Festival in Buntingford

Gravelly Lane North, River Quin Riverfly Monitoring – June 2022

Site: River Quin, Gravelly Lane North, BraughingRecorders: Andy Ayres, Mark WilkinsonSurvey date: 21st June 2022Time: 1630hrsFlow (0-5): 2Air temperature: Water temperature: Weather: Phosphate: 0.15ppmNitrate (NO3-N): 20ppmNitrite: 0 Cased Caddis 9 1 Caseless caddis 0 0 Burrowing Mayflies (Ephemeridae) 0 0 Blue-winged Olives (Ephemerellidae) 2 1 Olives (Baetidae) 15 2 Stoneflies 0 0 Shrimps (Gammarus) 45… Continue reading Gravelly Lane North, River Quin Riverfly Monitoring – June 2022

Gravelly Lane Ford River Quin Riverfly Monitoring – June 2022

Site: River Quin, Gravelly Lane Ford, BraughingRecorders: Andy Ayres, Mark WilkinsonSurvey date: 3rd June 2022Time: 1615hrsFlow (0-5): 2Air temperature: Water temperature: 13oCWeather: Phosphate: 0.07ppmNitrate (NO3-N): 10ppmNitrite: 0 Cased Caddis 22 2 Caseless caddis 1 1 Burrowing Mayflies (Ephemeridae) 0 0 Blue-winged Olives (Ephemerellidae) 50 2 Olives (Baetidae) 30 2 Stoneflies 0 0 Shrimps (Gammarus) 150… Continue reading Gravelly Lane Ford River Quin Riverfly Monitoring – June 2022

Jack’s Field, River Quin Riverfly Monitoring – May 2022

Site: Jack’s Field, River Quin, BraughingRecorders: Andy Ayres, Mark WilkinsonSurvey date: 31st May 2022Time: 1650hrsFlow (0-5): 2Air temperature:Water temperature: 12degCWeather: Phosphate: 0.05ppmNitrate (NO3-N): 10ppmNitrite: 0 Cased Caddice 11 2 Caseless caddice 3 1 Burrowing Mayflies (Ephemeridae) 0 0 Blue-winged Olives (Ephemerellidae) 120 3 Olives (Baetidae) 75 2 Stoneflies 0 0 Shrimps (Gammarus) 180 3 Score… Continue reading Jack’s Field, River Quin Riverfly Monitoring – May 2022

The bed of the River Rib as it enters Buntingford, June 2020

VISIT OUR ONLINE SHOP AND DISCOVER A RANGE OF T SHIRTS AND OTHER ITEMS THAT LOOK GREAT AND RAISE VITAL FUNDS FOR OUR WORK

a selection from the T shirts available in our SHOP
LotterySocial HistoryWildlife recording
Friends of the Rib & Quin has joined the East Herts Lottery as a way to raise funds towards our ongoing costs.
The East Herts Lottery runs on a weekly basis with each ticket costing £1. Half of the ticket price goes directly to Friends of the Rib & Quin. A further 10% goes to a general good cause fund, with the remaining 40% covering prizes and admin. Full details of the lottery and how to buy tickets can be found via our lottery web page here, or from the LOTTERY menu link in the website header.
Taking inspiration from the great social historian of Victorian East Anglia – George Ewart Evans, FORQ would like to contribute in a small way to the recording of our own social history. We have created a form to record individual reminiscences of the rivers, the history, archaeology, wildlife, fishing and memories of occasions spent in work and play, on, around or living near them. If you have a story about living in the Rib or Quin valleys why not record it here.


Recording the wildlife of the Rib & Quin Valleys is a key element of the work of Friends of the Rib & Quin. You can contribute too, just by recording the plants, trees, animals, birds and funghi you see via the iNaturalist smartphone app and your sightings will be automatically added to our project page. The project began in January 2020 and now has over 600 recorded sightings and in excess of 300 species identified. Take a look here.




We have some of the rarest ecosystems in the world in Hertfordshire and they are under threat.

The River Rib is a chalk stream in North East Hertfordshire that rises close to the village of Buckland. It then runs south through Wydial, Buntingford and Westmill, before reaching Braughing, Standon and Puckeridge. Continuing south it divides the villages of Thundridge and Westmill before swinging south-west to join the River Lea between Hertford and Ware.
The Quin rises close to Cokenach and flows near Barkway, Hormead and Hare Street before reaching Braughing and joining the Rib.

Chalk streams are incredibly important and globally rare environment with a unique ecology.  There are no more than 200 of these streams and rivers in the world, several of which are in Hertfordshire, including;
– River Mimram
– River Beane
– River Rib
– River Quin
– River Ash
– River Stort
– River Ver
– River Chess
– River Hiz

Friends of the Rib & Quin is a community organisation focused on  protecting and improving the habitats and environment of the River Rib and River Quin to the benefit of wildlife and the local community.

If you’re a landowner, member of a local group / organisation, or individual interested in finding out more about how you might get involved in protecting and improving your local river, we’d love to hear from you!

Drop us an email at FORQcomms@gmail.com or use the Contact page above so that we have your contact details and we will keep you updated of upcoming meetings and activities.

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