The annual Bristol Avon RiverBlitz is returning on the 7th -14th of July! After seven successful years, we are hopeful that enthusiastic citizen scientists will sign up in record numbers to help gather important data on the health of rivers and streams across the Avon catchment. By collecting and collating this snapshot data on water quality, BART are able to better understand the impacts affecting the health of our rivers, helping to identify priority sites in need of further investigation.
Volunteers will collect water samples from their local river and test nitrate and phosphate levels with easy-to-use water testing kits. This will provide us with a snapshot of water quality at that particular time and place. Once samples are collected, the data will be uploaded to BART’s online visualisation tool. Data from across the catchment is then verified and the results can be viewed on the open access Bristol Avon RiverBlitz Explorer platform, which you can explore to view the past seven year’s data!
Nitrate and phosphate are important nutrients in rivers, however in excessive quantities they cause problems for wildlife. Excess nutrients cause algae to thrive, sometimes developing into mats blocking sunshine reaching the riverbed. When algae decomposes, it depletes oxygen in the water. Lower oxygen levels and nutrient imbalance means some plants and animals cannot survive whilst other, less desirable, species may dominate. Monitoring the levels of phosphate and nitrate in our rivers is therefore essential to the management and conservation of our waterways.
If you are interested in getting involved, you can sign up for free to become a RiverBlitz citizen scientist here. Make sure to sign up before 1st July in order to receive your free easy-to-use monitoring kit in the post, which includes everything you need to complete a successful BART RiverBlitz survey. Alternatively, you can attend one of BART’s in person RiverBlitz events where you can talk to our friendly team and collect a water testing kit.
Bristol Avon RiverBlitz Events
For more details visit our events page
River Chew: Keynsham Memorial Park, Saturday 8th July 10am-2pm
Land Yeo: Watercress Farm, near Tyntsfield, Saturday 8th July 10am – 2pm
Wellow Brook: Midsomer Norton Town Park, Sunday 9th July 10am – 2pm
River Biss: Trowbridge Park Pond, Sunday 9th July 10am – 2pm
Thank you to our funders: Avon Wildlife Trust, Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, Bristol Water, Bristol Avon Catchment Partnership, The Big Give, Osbourne Clark Charitable Fund, Robert Clutterbuck Charitable Trust, Triodos Foundation.