BART works around the catchment to carry out research that will help to inform future improvement work. Our main areas of research include:

  • Walkover surveys to assess the current condition of the river and surrounding habitat.
  • Water quality surveys
  • Barrier assessments for fish passage and habitat
  • Ecological surveys including fish, invertebrates and macrophytes (aquatic plants).
  • Citizen science research projects involving the general public in data collection, for example our Waterblitz project where over 350 volunteers gather water quality samples every year
Riverfly monitoring
Example research projects

BART electrofishing surveys

BART are pleased to announce that we now own our own set of electrofishing kit. BART has been conducting electrofishing surveys for some time with partners, however we have now been able to raise sufficient funds for our own equipment. Electrofishing is a fish surveying technique combining a mixture of electrical current with a known…

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Walkover surveys find room for improvement!

BART have been very busy recently, travelling all over the catchment doing walkover surveys and writing advisory reports for river improvement projects including the Corston, Newton, and Nunney Brooks and the River Somer. Jess, our Aquatic Scientist, has found many issues on the Nunney Brook including channel straightening and re-enforced banks which means there is limited…

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Somerset Frome Sediment Pathways Project

BART have completed a very interesting and useful project funded by the Bristol Avon Catchment Partnership this Spring. Sediment entering watercourses can have a detrimental effect on aquatic ecology, including fish and invertebrates.  This project has used predominantly field surveys to identify where sediment is entering watercourses in the upper Somerset Frome catchment and to…

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Duchy of Cornwall river surveys

BART have been busy over the last few months undertaking a variety of river surveys on Duchy of Cornwall estate land near to Bath, including: In-stream and riparian habitat surveys Surrounding land use investigations to assess impacts on water quality. Water quality monitoring Macroinvertebrate surveys Macrophyte surveys Riparian tree surveys Findings from these surveys will…

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Electrofishing surveys

This BART worked with Five Rivers Environmental Contractors carrying out electrofishing surveys along the Midford Brook and Wellow Brook near to Bath. These surveys were conducted at a number of sites to collect valuable data and increase our fisheries knowledge in the Catchment for a variety of reasons. Firstly, as pre-project monitoring, to determine species…

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Somerset Frome Sediment Pathways project update

Thanks to funding from the Bristol Avon Catchment Partnership, BART has been busy on the upper Somerset Frome since October working on our Diffuse Pollution Sediment Pathways Project. Sediment entering watercourses can have a detrimental effect on aquatic ecology, including fish and invertebrates.  This project has used predominantly field surveys to identify where sediment is…

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Citizen Science Water Quality Monitoring Project

Thanks to funding from the Bristol Avon Catchment Partnership, BART will be working with 8 Riverfly monitors, 5 community groups, 5 schools and 5 farmers to monitor chemical water quality in their local rivers throughout the catchment over the next year. This monitoring is testing for phosphates and nitrates with the global research project Freshwater Watch. Although naturally occurring in…

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NEW PROJECT!: Somerset Frome Diffuse Pollution Pathways

The Somerset Frome Diffuse Pollution Pathways project will use a risk grading approach to develop sediment pathway maps for the upper Somerset Frome (South of the town of Frome). To date, statutory monitoring programmes and local knowledge has been used to identify the main pressures and likely reasons for failure to meet water quality standards.…

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**Confirmed crayfish plague on the By Brook**

Dear all,  Following a significant native white-clawed crayfish kill on the By Brook, Wiltshire in August/September, it has been confirmed that the crayfish sampled were infected with Aphanomyces astaci, which is the water mould (fungus) that causes crayfish plague. Crayfish plague is a deadly disease that infects and kills our native white-clawed crayfish. The invasive non-native…

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Return of the Lamprey

  The last month has seen two of our Riverfly Partnership monitors coming to us with a strange finding – lamprey larvae (or ‘ammocoetes’ as they are also known). One of the most primitive vertebrates alive today, lampreys are fascinating parasitic fish that are jawless and attach themselves to other fish to feed on blood…

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BY BROOK FEASIBILITY REPORTS.

  BART have completed a two year study of the By Brook catchment as part of a partnership project funded by the Environment Agency. The objectives of the project were to identify options which if pursued would lead towards the catchment meeting targets set within the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD). The documents uploaded to…

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