I had a very interesting conversation on Mylor Creek last week with two individuals testing the creek water, and was surprised to learn that such testing is increasingly being left to volunteers, rather than funded by government bodies.
Jane, who signed up to the project just over a year ago, told me:
The surveys I carry out cover turbidity, phosphate levels, total dissolved solids and temperature along with visual surveying of flow rate, level of water, litter, obstacles and wildlife.
At the moment I’m the only volunteer surveying in Mylor Bridge, although there are two survey sites in Flushing and a few in Penryn. It’s not a huge commitment – I carry out a survey once a month – and I like to think I’m providing data that, in the absence of any official sampling, might be useful in the fight to save our waterways and our environment.
If anyone would like to take part they should contact Citizen Science Investigations at Westcountry CSI – Westcountry Rivers Trust (wrt.org.uk). They provide online training and the kit, and are always looking for more people to join the team.
This Citizen Science initiative is well worth taking a look at and you can find out more and sign up here.
We at Transition Falmouth are very happy to signpost to it to help them attract more volunteers locally.
They are doing immensely valuable work in helping to document the health of our marine environment which is an increasingly urgent and topical problem.