The Little Stour is one of the tributaries of the River Stour in the English county of Kent. The upper reaches of the river are better known as the Nailbourne, whilst the lower reaches were once known as the Seaton Navigation.
The intermittent source of the river is at Lyminge, and in its early reaches from Lyminge to Littlebourne it forms a chalk stream and winterbourne that is normally known as the Nailbourne. Below Littlebourne the river is better known as the Little Stour, and it joins with the Great Stour at Plucks Gutter near West Stourmouth.
The Nailbourne flows from Lyminge, through the Elham Valley until it becomes known as the Little Stour at Littlebourne.
The Nailbourne bubbles up beneath St Ethelburga's Well in Tayne Field in the centre of Lyminge. Whilst the stream often holds a plentiful supply of water from Lyminge to Elham throughout the year, it rarely holds any water from Elham to Bishopsbourne even in the winter months. However, in wet years the normally dry ditch can turn into a fast flowing torrent, flooding roads, fields and houses. An example of this was in 2001 when there was extensive flooding throughout the Elham Valley.
There are a number of minor tributaries that flow into the Nailbourne throughout the Elham Valley. Most are nameless although Ordnance Survey maps do mark a stream known as the East Brooke which runs from Etchinghill and joins the Nailbourne at Lyminge.
Below Littlebourne the river is better known as the Little Stour, and it joins with the Great Stour at Plucks Gutter near West Stourmouth. The merged river is usually known as the River Stour.
The river flows through the following settlements -
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