This month, at our regular volunteer meet up with volunteers from Craigsfarm, we ran an impromptu Freshwater Watch workshop for two volunteers. Freshwater Watch is a global initiative that allows citizen scientists to monitor the water quality of their local burn, river or pond. I have been monitoring the water quality up and down stream of Howden weir – where the UK’s largest rock ramp has just been built as part of RiverLife’s Almond Barriers project – so that seemed like a good place to run the workshop.
The Freshwater Watch kit allows us to record nitrate and phosphate levels, turbidity and any visual signs of water pollution. Doing this on a regular basis – four times a year – will flag up any changes in water quality. Going forward, today’s volunteers are ready to create an online profile, do a quick intro and start recording at their own sites.
Finally, we squeezed in a quick litter pick on our walk back to the hub. Buckfast comes in cans…who knew?