Riverfly on the Esk is a citizen science project located on the Lothian Esk which flows through Midlothian and East Lothian. It joins a nationwide network of Riverfly Partnership groups across the UK, monitoring freshwater invertebrates as indicators of river health.
Riverfly on the Esk is a Citizen Science project launched in July 2017, located on the Lothian Esk, Midlothian (River Esk Map). It joins a nationwide network of Riverfly Partnership groups across the UK, monitoring freshwater invertebrates (Riverfly) as indicators of river health. This project is run entirely by the local community supported by experts and local partners. It has grown from 6 to 26 Riverfly Partnership trained river monitors, who carryout monthly sampling of 9 sites, located along the North, South and Lothian Stetch of the Lothian Esk. Training is offered by a member of the team who is a qualified Riverfly Partnership trainer.
The Lothian Esk attracts visitors from both within and out with the local community, popular with walkers, anglers and local nature enthusiasts. The river has suffered from a history of pollution from multiple sources, including mine water and sewage waste. Concern for the river’s health motivated the community to get involved in practical action. Riverfly on the Esk works in partnership with the local environment agency, angler groups and recreational users, raising awareness and collecting data on the biological health of the river, using riverflies as the indicator species. The data collected feeds into a national database and uses a trigger system to provide early detection of pollution events. There is strong evidence that over at least the last few decades there has been a widespread decline in the numbers of riverflies in some British rivers. Riverfly surveys also provides information that contributes to the knowledge and understanding of these invertebrates.
By joining the group, you can access certified training and be part of the monitoring team. The project is open to anyone who wishes to play a part in improving the health of the river. Participation can involve taking a sample from the river channel or identifying the invertebrates on the bank side. You need no prior experience or qualifications, just a few hours a month and a keen interest to learn!
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This page was added on 19 Jan 2021
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