We have watched this citizen science project expand year on year and we expect even more samples to be collected again by our amazing volunteers in 2022! BART is therefore calling upon all experienced and wannabe citizen scientists to get involved by registering your details on our website to receive water sampling kits in the post in readiness to sample your local watercourse. The data will shed a light on the health and condition of our rivers and streams across the catchment during the week long Blitz.
BART are seeking enthusiastic volunteers between 11th-18th July to help take river water samples to determine levels of nitrate and phosphate levels as well as recording other river quality indicators, such as habitat and invasive weeds. Whether you are going for a stroll with your dog, friends or family; or simply enjoying being outside on a nice sunny summer’s day (we hope!) then you can easily get involved.
So what does the role of a RiverBlitz citizen scientist involve?
As a citizen scientist you will sample a site along your local river or stream using our free and simple-to-use water testing kits which will be provided by us when you sign up to the project. The water testing kits will test for nitrate and phosphate levels, providing a high-level indication of these nutrient levels at that point. An increase of nutrient levels in a river can artificially stimulate plant and weed growth, as well as algae. Algae uses up valuable oxygen in the river and blocks out light and smothers riverbed gravels, which can impact the local wildlife that depends on the river, such as invertebrates and fish.
So why help?
Once the samples have been completed you will upload your results to the new RiverBlitz data entry sheet and these results will be published on The Bristol Avon Waterblitz Explorer. Check out the data explorer to find out how the health of your local river or stream has changed during the past 5 years of the RiverBlitz events. This interactive map of the catchment demonstrates the distribution of samples taken as well as helping to identify areas for further investigations and future conservation efforts.
The 2022 Bristol Avon RiverBlitz is a great opportunity to reconnect with your favourite river; or for those who have found a hidden gem wanting to have an excuse to revisit, all your hard work will contribute towards us building a better understanding our local rivers. So, sign up for your free, easy to use water sampling kit, get involved, get outside and immerse yourself for the benefit of our rivers!
If you are member of a local community group, school or private organisation and would like to get your team involved in the project, please get in touch to request multiple kits to distribute to interested members.
Make sure to sign up before 12th July to receive your kit in time for the event!
Fear not if you miss the deadline of the 12th July, as this year we’re excited to be hosting several RiverBlitz events at locations along the Wellow Brook, the River Chew, the River Biss and the Congresbury Yeo. These events provide volunteers the opportunity to collect their kit in person, with members of the BART team demonstrating how to undertake sampling and answering questions about the methodology or any other river related questions that you might have! The events will take place on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th July from 10am to 2pm. Please find details of each event below:
Cam & Wellow Brooks: Saturday 16th July – Midsomer Norton Town Park, Gullock Tyning, Midsomer Norton, BA3 2UH
The River Biss: Saturday 16th July – Fore Street, Trowbridge Town Centre, BA14 8ER
The River Chew: Sunday 17th July – Wild Things Farm, Pensford Lane, Stanton Drew, Bristol, BS39 4DX (What 3 Words: ///amber.loudness.rivers)
Congresbury Yeo: Sunday 17th July – Millennium Green, Bristol Road, Congresbury, Bristol, BS49 5AG
Thank you for taking part in helping us to continue our protection and enhancement of our rivers and streams and the much needed ‘voice for water’.
For more information about the event, or if you have any questions or queries, please do get in touch by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you to all of our super Bristol Avon RiverBlitz 2022 project funders: Medlock Charitable Trust; Green Recovery Challenge Fund; Wiltshire Wildlife Trust; Avon Wildlife Trust; Waitrose; Big Give; Bath & North East Somerset Council; Bristol Avon Catchment Partnership. We could not make this happen without your support which we are incredibly grateful.