Chalk stream volunteers take the lead on national scheme
The Lincolnshire Chalk Streams Project and their army of volunteers have been working hard on a pilot project in and around the Lincolnshire Wolds since 2015. Volunteers have been surveying for 26 key invertebrates that help to indicate the state of the water quality, sedimentation and flow rate of Lincolnshire's chalk streams. The list extends the number of key invertebrates on the national Riverfly Partnership scheme (where currently 8 are identified and counted). The new system has been designed by Chris Extence and Richard Chadd (from our partners, the Environment Agency). The LCSP presented on the findings of the project at the National Riverfly Conference in 2016, followed up by a meeting at the Natural History Museum in 2017.
This year the LCSP were invited again to the Natural History Museum to discuss the project along with representatives from the Environment Agency, Dorset Wildlife Trust, the Riverfly Partnership and the Freshwater Biological Association. A consolidated list of invertebrates was confirmed based on findings from Lincolnshire's pilot project and two other projects in Dorset and Birmingham. Important work undertaken by LCSP volunteers' Rachel Graham and Jade Oliver on ID help guides and videos of invertebrates was showcased to the group. The goal is for the surveying system to be adopted nationally.
The LCSP would like to thank their partners at the Environment Agency and the volunteers for their continued efforts to progress this incredibly exciting and important project. The information collected by the volunteers directly informs action to tackle key issues affecting Lincolnshire's delicate chalk streams.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer the LCSP will be running another training event in April 2019 to train volunteers to identify 8 key invertebrates as part of the Riverfly Partnership national surveying scheme. The training is FREE thanks to the Environment Agency, and all necessary equipment will be provided. Once the training is complete volunteers will be allocated a site to survey. Please get in touch if you are interested.