As you may already know, BEACON has been granted Catchment Wise funding to support a project that focuses on the water quality of Birkin, Mobberley, Marthall and Sugar Brooks, in the western end of the Bollin catchment. As part of this project, BEACON volunteers will carry out walkover surveys along the corridors of these brooks, to try and find out what the major causes of rural diffuse pollution are here.
Three training events have been held since the project started in October. One was held on Halloween to train volunteers to carry out walkover surveys and record incidents of diffuse pollution (you can read more about this training below). The training was recently repeated on 11th December and run by Sally Potts, BEACON Project Officer. The day was less than kind, being cold and very wet, and so everyone was glad of the morning indoor session. Here volunteers learned about what diffuse pollution is, what causes it and the techniques used during a walkover to identify and record it. After a wonderful lunch, locally produced by Earlams Café in Styal, all the volunteers went to the Carrs in Wilmslow to put their new found walkover and recording skills to the test.
Nine volunteers attended and practised their survey skills along the River Bollin. Everyone found the training informative and useful. One volunteer commented on Facebook: ‘It was a great day and an excellent presentation by you Sally. Thanks for hosting it’. A short refresher training session is being held in Bowdon for all volunteers in the New Year.
BEACON has now trained 27 volunteers carry out these walkover surveys, and so we are expecting results to start being submitted in the next few months.
For more information or to get involved in this survey project please contact Sally Potts, Project Officer, on 07825 115 303 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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.