Taking part in Clean Water for Wildlife

Anyone and everyone can take part in the Clean Water for Wildlife survey – professionals or beginners. It’s easy. With two quick tests you can record the amount of nutrient pollution in your local ponds, streams, rivers, ditches and canals – and maybe discover new clean water sites.

front coverCW recording form

We want to encourage as many people as possible to take part. Both groups, schools and members of the public are welcome to participate.  We are currently seeking groups and individuals who can help to develop the citizen science survey to make it more accessible to those who may face barriers to taking part due to limited access to nature or physical disabilities, learning disabilities or mental health issues. We aim to ensure that everyone has equal opportunities to access nature, including their freshwater heritage, and its many health and well being benefits.

Sign up for your quick and simple kits to find fantastic freshwater, free from pollution, where wildlife can thrive and to reveal the extent of nutrient pollution impacting freshwater life today. New kits have made it possible for us all to ‘see’ nutrient pollution through a  simple colour change reaction. The kits rapidly measure the levels of two widespread nutrient pollutants, nitrate and phosphate. 

Are the ponds, streams and rivers in your neighbourhood good enough for wildlife? Take part and together, we can find and protect the best sites, and build up a picture of the state of water quality and its impact on wildlife across England and Wales.

If you have any questions about the survey please contact Hannah at hworker@freshwaterhabitats.org.uk

The survey

The survey is completely free to take part in and all the necessary equipment and interpretation materials are supplied. In summary the survey involves:

  1. Sign up – Individuals please sign up through the online form found below. Groups please sign up through the group activity page
  2. Watch our Clean Water for Wildlife demonstration video – (see resources below)
  3. Sample collection – Collect water samples from nearby freshwater habitats (e.g. garden pond, local stream, garden water butt or even tap water). An extendable water sampling cup can be supplied to those with mobility difficulties. 
  4. Sample testing – As a group activity or as an individual, use the nutrient kits (one phosphate test and one nitrate test) to test the water samples.
  5. Analyse the results – Compare the groups results to look for patterns and trends in the data.
  6. Enter the results online – Enter your results here and contribute to the national survey. 
  7. Feedback to us on your experience: Fill out our short questionnaire to let us know what you enjoyed, what could use improvement, what resources would have been useful and what else would have facilitated your group, or yourself as an individual, undertaking the survey.

Survey resources

Please see below for downloadable copies or all the resources we supply for the survey.

  • As an individual you’ll be supplied with: water testing kits, an instruction leaflet and recording forms
  • As a group or school you can be supplied with a group activity box – for more information please visit our groups page

WARNING: The recording forms have been printed to an exact specification so that the colours used on the comparison charts are correct for the kits we are using. Please do not print any copies to carry out surveys. We will supply you with everything you need for the survey.

Sign up

Individuals please sign up through the form below. If you are a group please visit our group activity page to sign up. 

Request your Clean Water kits
The address you would like the kits posted to
Each Clean Water kits is made up of one nitrate and one phosphate testing tube. Each kit can only be used once, so you'll need a new one for each place you want to test.
Don't worry if you don't know where you want to test yet. We are happy to help with ideas.

 If you have any questions about Clean Water for Wildlife, please contact the Project Administrator at peoplepondswater@freshwaterhabitats.org.uk