BART spent a day out on the Bristol Frome teaching UWE students a variety of different river habitat surveys. The students learnt new skills in land use mapping, identifying invertebrates and macrophytes and chemical water quality monitoring. The students were keen to get in the riverand see what invertebrates they could find, and weren’t dissapointed when they found lots of bullheads, freshwater shrimps, olive mayfly and the occasional burrowing mayfly. Thanks to the Greggs Foundation for funding our education work along the Bristol Frome this year!
In the afternoon the students tried their hand at Freshwater Watch monitoring, testing the levels of phosphate and nitrate in the river. These chemicals are naturally occuring in rivers, but concentrations can be increased by surface run-off, for example from agricultural land use which carries fertilizer and pesticides. When concentrations of phosphates and nitrates are too high it can lead to eutrophication and a reduction in the level of oxygen available to the life in our rivers. Thanks to our funding from the Bristol Avon Catchment Partnership we can continue this ongoing monitoring.
The students loved getting hands on experience and the chance to see the amazing creatures which live in our rivers, hopefully they feel inspired to become the next generation of river conservationists!