Where can I survey?

Government agencies monitor pollution in our larger rivers, some streams and lakes, but we know nothing about nutrient pollution in 99% of our ponds, steams, headwaters, ditches and other freshwater habitats, where so much of our fantastic freshwater wildlife lives.

The Clean Water for Wildlife project aims to collect information on nutrient pollution from as many freshwater habitats as possible; particularly places which have never been monitored before.

You can collect water from one or more sites – including rivers, streams, ponds, ditches and canals. You can even check the water in your garden pond, school pond, water butt or the kitchen tap. Visit your site once, or go back several times during the year and keep a record of any changes.

Getting to know your freshwater habitat . . .

 pond get to know Pond
Standing or still waters between
1m2 and 2ha in area which may be permanent or temporary. Includes both man-made and natural waterbodies.
 pond garden Garden Pond
As above, but within a garden or within the boundary of your curtilage
 lake get to know Lake
A body of still water >2 ha in area, includes reservoirs and gravel pits.
 river get to know River
Larger running waters, created mainly by natural processes. Marked as a double blue line on 1:25,000 OS maps and defined by the OS as greater than 8.25 m in width.
 stream get to know Stream
Small running waters, created mainly by natural processes. Marked as a single blue line on 1:25,000 Ordnance Survey (OS) maps and defined by the OS as being less than 8.25 m in width. Stream differ from ditches by usually having a sinuous outline and following natural landscape features, e.g. valleys. They include the headwaters or tributaries of larger rivers.
 ditch get to know  Ditch
Man-made channels created primarily for drainage, they often (i) follow a straight line, (ii) follow boundaries e.g. field or road edges, (iii) turn at right angles, and (iv) show little relationship with natural landscape contours.
 canal get to know Canal
A feature created for navigation which may or may not still be navigable.
 other get to know Other places to test
You might want to sample your water butt, or the water from your tap, particularly if you want to ‘try the kits out’. But, but it would be interesting for the survey if you can sample from another freshwater habitat in your neighbourhood as well.