This first major and comprehensive work on the River
Ver reveals a fascinating story from source to confluence
and prehistory to the twenty-first century of a
chalk stream that has shaped not only the local landscape
but the lives of its people past and present.
Chalk streams are scarce and fragile ecosystems:
of the 163 chalk streams in the world, all but two are
in the UK. From its source at Kensworth Lynch in the
foothills of the Chilterns, the River Ver when in full
flow meanders south along its valley for around
24km through Markyate, Flamstead, Redbourn, St
Albans, Park Street and Bricket Wood where it
meets the River Colne.
With a forword by the renowned television presenter
and wildlife photographer Chris Packham, the
book tells of the Ver’s long and interesting history, including
geology and archaeology, milling and watercress
growing and problems with abstraction, along
with abstraction and flow charts and comprehensive
records and details of a selection of local flora and
Included is a fascinating list of bygone words,
many local, connected with rivers and water. There
are wonderful personal memories and experiences
sprinkled throughout the book of people who have
lived, worked and played on or near the river, helping
to bring the past to us here in the present, all
complemented with over 300 photographs, images
and maps, many never before seen in public, and
some going back more than 250 years.
The River Ver: A Meander Through Time makes it
clear how valuable and important our chalk streams
are and how vital it is to raise their profile and that
of the rich diversity of wildlife they support. This
beautifully written and illustrated book will encourage
readers to take an interest in exploring and caring
for this superlative resource and its surroundings
and help to give the River Ver its rightful importance
now and for future generations.
Jacqui Banfield-Taylor has spent most of
her life living near the River Ver in St
Albans where she was born and raised
until moving to Bricket Wood with her
husband Bruce – a Park Street boy!
The daughter of the local author and
historian Ted Banfield, she was bought
up to appreciate, care for and love the
countryside, its flora and fauna and its
waterways especially the River Ver where
many happy hours have been spent with
her family, friends and dogs.
She was a contributor to her father’s
books including writing, photography and
research and writes regularly for the local
Her interests are many and varied and
include walking, painting, reading, writing,
theatre, photography – she has had work
published in national magazines – early
British and domestic history, local history
and visiting, photographing and researching
old churches and ruins.
Imprint: Halsgrove. ISBN 978 0 85704 160 9, hardback, 297x210mm, 160 pages. Published July 2012.