29th March 2016
WaterBlitz: on the look out for clean water for wildlife
Our Clean Water for Wildlife survey is off to a great start. Volunteers are blitzing their local freshwaters across England and Wales in search of wildlife rich, clean water habitats.
— Ian Banks (@AtollUK) March 16, 2016
The Clean Water kits have been sent out, and volunteers are using them to find out how much phosphate and nitrate there is in their local ponds, streams, ditches and lakes.
— Ian Banks (@AtollUK) March 20, 2016
The water samples change colour depending on the scale of nutrient pollution. The darker the colour, the more pollution there is.
— Kate Wright (@katewright29) March 17, 2016
Some freshwaters are clean, showing no colour change in the samples. These clean water habitats are able to support a wide range of plants and animals, including many rare species.
— Nicola Lowndes (@nicola_lowndes) March 20, 2016
Groups of volunteers, like the Friends of Rawcliffe Meadow in York, below, have been testing the ponds on their Flagship Pond sites.
Flagship sites are the best pond sites in the country. They support some of our richest ponds and rarest freshwater wildlife because they have clean water, like Foxglove Covert in Yorkshire.
Lots of different groups are getting involved. Students from Herefordshire & Ludlow College tested seven ponds on their Holm Lacey campus, on an organic farm, and found them all to have very low nutrient levels.
Hanna Jenkins from Thames Water helped a group of school children test the ponds at Pinkhill Meadow on the River Thames. Thames Water supports Thames Water for Wildlife, a project that is looking for clean water and rare species throughout the Thames Water region.
School groups are testing waterbodies in the Wye Valley, and will be doing more during the Wye Valley River Festival, run by the Wye Valley AONB partnership.
Staff at Margram Country Park, Neath Port Talbot, collected samples from their site, and tested them, in comfort, indoors.
With mixed results…
Volunteers are getting out to some lovely sites, and spotting wildlife as they go.
Some spots are not quite so lovely… like this pipe carrying surface water from a nearby housing estate which was found to be polluted. All other ponds and ditches on the site, none of which were fed by drains or inflows, were clean.
Even our own team are testing sites… on their holiday!
— Laura Jane Quinlan (@laura_bumblebee) March 29, 2016
You don’t need much equipment to take part: a Clean Water kit, a container for your water sample, and a timer (most mobile phones have one).
— Jo F ????? (@jojodinks79) March 23, 2016
And we have made a video of how to use the kit…
We’d love for you to join us. Come on in – we’re finding out if the water is lovely!
Get involved in a WaterBlitz