On 26th November a training session was held as part of BEACON’s Catchment Wise Diffuse Water Pollution Project. This session was run by the Environment Agency to train volunteers on how to digitise the data we will be collecting from the walkover surveys being carried out along Mobberley, Birkin and Sugar Brooks.
The Environment Agency use a database called the Catchment Walkover Tool to collect walkover survey data in a standardised format, and then this database is used to create interactive maps and educational resources to illustrate the survey results.
The volunteers really enjoyed the day, and we all learned some new IT skills as well as more about data input and sharing. We just need to make sure we hire a warmer venue next time!
This Diffuse Water Pollution Project is not just a data collection exercise, as BEACON wants to achieve much more than this. By the end of the year we will have trained approximatley 30 volunteers to input data and survey for Diffuse Water Pollution, providing these volunteers with skills and knowledge in areas of ecology, water quality, IT and science that they did not have before.
We will also be using maps made from the Walkover Tool to educate and engage people on their land management practises and signpost them to other places where they can get help, advice and even funding.