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The River Babingley rises east of the village of Flitcham and flows for 19.6 km until it enters the Great Ouse through Wootton Marsh. Its upper reaches are well protected by woodland, marshland and fen along the river banks, and a lack of intensive farming in the vicinity. Consequently, it is home to large numbers of trout, and is a haven for water voles.

Image credit: Jack Perks (Brown trout)

Image credit: Jack Perks (Water vole)

In its lower reaches, the Babingley has steep embankments, making it unable to spill out onto its floodplain. This means that plant and invertebrate species that require wet river margins are greatly reduced. These reaches are also subjected to sediment loading from roads and adjacent farmland and have been modified (straightened) in some places.

Despite this, the Babingley can be considered one of the finest examples of a chalk river, particularly in its upper reaches where it contains some of the cleanest, clearest water in Norfolk.

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