Life of a Chalkstream is the story of a river that I discovered and brought back to life. A beautiful English chalkstream neglected for a generation or more. But perfection comes at a price, and the book charts the highs and lows of the year I took to bring it back from the brink. This is not so much a tale about people (they are mostly bit players as the events unfold) but rather the creatures that make their lives in and around the river and how the changes affected them for better or worse.

Come with me as we see the river fill with salmon and eels, returning from years at sea and a journey of thousands of miles across the Atlantic Ocean. Watch as those efficient predators the otters, pike and herons show themselves to deadly effect. Follow the adventures and travails of the fly fishers who take their turn on the river. In the air the swallows mark the changing of the seasons. By night the owls hover over the water meadows, a hunting ground that rarely fails to give up a victim. By day the water voles and tiny mammals scurry in the dry grasses and tall banks, making families that live life on the edge.

This is not just the tale of a river but the community that lives by it. How every creature, however big, small, fast or apparently unimportant has a niche and a role in the life of a chalkstream. But all is not as it should be. After decades of neglect much must be done to prevent the river spiralling towards oblivion. Saving it will be no easy task.

- Simon Cooper

These are just a few of the great reviews:

“Beautifully written and steeped in a true understanding of its subject.”

“If you fish for trout and grayling, or if you love the English countryside, then you'll also love this book which, for me, ended too soon.”

“Pastoral and modern, it will interest naturalists, anglers and daydreamers.”

“Up there with Tarka the Otter for the marvellous river and nature writing.”

Doors open: 7:00pm

Finish: 9:30pm

There will be a cash bar with drinks and refreshments available. The first part of the talk will start at 7:30pm followed by a short interval. There will be the opportunity to purchase Simon's books and have them signed during the event.