Watercress production was a thriving local industry throughout much of the 20th century, and Ewelme Watercress Beds supplied markets as far away as Covent Garden. The watercress was grown in specially-built beds fed by Ewelme Brook, a chalk stream whose crystal-clear water is ideal for watercress.
By the late 20th century greater regulation and more competition led to the demise of the local watercress industry, and the Beds fell into disrepair. In the 1990s The Chiltern Society began a programme of restoration and conservation. The Beds can now be visited on Open Days where you can learn all about their history and see some of the plants and animals that live in the clear chalk waters.
Visit the watercress beds