The majority of the perennial River Avon catchment and part of one of the winterbournes (River Till) in Hampshire is designated as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC). The River Avon is one of the UK’s most bio diverse, with over 180 species of aquatic plants, 37 species of fish and a wide range of aquatic invertebrates. The headwaters of the main river are a network of clay streams fed by chalk springs. These converge to form a chalk river, which is then joined by the main tributaries around Salisbury developing into a large calcareous river. It then flows over more acid sands and clay as it passes the New Forest and the Dorset Heaths. The SAC also includes the Dockens Water, a largely unmodified acid stream draining New Forest heathlands.
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