Welcome to the Friends of the Rib & Quin website

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 and Blog Posts

Schools Out for Chalk Streams

Friends of the Rib & Quin had the pleasure of working with Year 5 and 6 pupils from Albury and Puller Memorial CofE Schools over the last fortnight, as part of their curriculum focus on climate change and environmental issues in preparation for their participation in the COP26 Environment Summit in Glasgow later this month.… Continue reading Schools Out for Chalk Streams

Riverfly Identification in 90 seconds!

Here’s a great little film I found on Youtube made by Liam Marsh that shows the key indicator species we look for when riverfly monitoring as part of the Riverfly Partnership. If you would like to train as a riverfly monitor, drop Pauline an email at FORQcomms@gmail.com

Next CAA talk – Planning to Fail

Ashley Smith: Planning to fail7pm – 6th October 2021 100 new houses mean about an extra 30 tonnes of sewage a day and the water industry is totally unprepared for the deluge. How can campaigners take advantage of this situation? Windrush Against Sewage Pollution’s Ashley Smith makes a welcome return to the Chalk Aquifer Alliance… Continue reading Next CAA talk – Planning to Fail

September Waterblitz 2021

The Autumn Thames Waterblitz took place on the weekend of 24-27 September, forming part of FreshwaterWatch’s huge citizen science project that allows people across the globe to assess the quality of the water in their lakes, rivers, streams and ponds. The Waterblitz asks that volunteers register for testing kits and then use them over the… Continue reading September Waterblitz 2021

Braughing River Quin Barn Riverfly Monitoring – September 2021

Site: Braughing River QuinRecorders: Andy Ayres, Mark WilkinsonSurvey date: 25th September 2021Time: 1100hrsFlow (0-5): 2Air temperature:Weather: Bright with broken cloud, light breeze Cased Caddice 14 2 Caseless caddice 1 1 Burrowing Mayflies (Ephemeridae) 0 0 Blue-winged Olives (Ephemerellidae) 1 1 Olives (Baetidae) >500 3 Stoneflies 0 0 Shrimps (Gammarus) >500 3 Note: Flat-bodied Up-wings are… Continue reading Braughing River Quin Barn Riverfly Monitoring – September 2021

Braughing Parish Council public consultation on Pentlows Meadow

Braughing Parish Council held a public consultation today to present and gain feedback on proposals, prepared by Groundworks for the Pentlows Meadow site, which sits to the north of St Mary’s Braughing churchyard on the eastern bank of the River Quin. The meeting included; a short presentation on the brief and proposals from Groundworks a… Continue reading Braughing Parish Council public consultation on Pentlows Meadow

TeaTime Talks donation kicks off new water quality initiative

Thanks to an extremely generous donation from the good people of Standon’s ‘TeaTime Talks’, FORQ have recently been able to purchase Phosphate Checkers to further understand the water quality of our rivers. FORQ have purchased three Phosphate Low Level Colorimeters which will be used to measure phosphate levels at sites across the two rivers throughout… Continue reading TeaTime Talks donation kicks off new water quality initiative

Buntingford Aspenden Road Bridge Riverfly Monitoring – September 2021

Site: Buntingford Aspenden Road BridgeRecorders: David Edwards, Andy Ayres, Mark WilkinsonSurvey date: 18th September 2021Time: 1100hrsAir temperature:Weather: Cased Caddice 120 3 Caseless caddice 0 0 Mayfly 0 0 BWO 0 0 Olives 1 1 Stoneflies 0 0 Shrimps 0 0 Score 4 Flow – 3-4. Also caught 3 banded demoiselle larvae, 10 leeches (2 species),… Continue reading Buntingford Aspenden Road Bridge Riverfly Monitoring – September 2021

Community Grant award from the Co-op

FORQ was recently made aware of a scheme by the Co-op, called Co-op Community Support. Local Co-op’s operate a Community donations policy, whereby at the discretion of the local store manager, up to £250 may be made available to local organisations who are thought to benefit the local community. In this instance, we approached Philip Wells, the manager of… Continue reading Community Grant award from the Co-op

A morning on the river with WASPS

Back at the beginning of August, towards the start of the school summer holidays, Friends of the Rib & Quin had the pleasure of hosting the children from WASPS for a morning of exploring the river at Standon and its “bugs and beasties”. Dividing the children into two groups we were able to use our… Continue reading A morning on the river with WASPS

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
River SurveysLotterySocial HistoryWildlife recording
Over the last months of winter and early spring this year, Peter Sinclair began a survey of our river system.

He began with the Quin and documents the river following one of the wettest winters on record, accompanied by photographs, maps and additional notes from the Transactions from Hertfordshire Natural History on the Quin from 1882.

The second instalment on the upper reaches of the Rib from Therfield to Braughing is now available to read here.
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 newly formed 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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