Thanks to Isabel for sending me this information, which comes from Hannah Shaw of the Freshwater HabitatsTrust :
The Freshwater Habitats Trust are undertaking a new project this year where they would like as many people as possible to participate in the Clean Water for Wildlife Project. It is aimed at community groups and it would be wonderful if any interested members could each test a different waterbody such as a pond in the park, countryside pond, village pond, stream, river, etc local to themselves (but preferably not ornamental garden ponds) so that many different waterbodies are tested for their phosphate and nitrate levels. The trust is hoping to achieve a ‘picture’ of water quality in Wales and find where the clean water is.
The trust can supply test kits for use on any ponds or watercourses near to our meadows, and obviously the broader the range of water bodies that can be surveyed, then the more meaningful the results are likely to be.
All information and how to take part is explained on their website at http://freshwaterhabitats.org.uk/projects/clean-water/take-part/
If you need any further information, please don’t hesitate to contact:
People Ponds and Water Welsh Project Officer
Freshwater Habitats Trust
This comes at a particularly appropriate time for us, since last week, thanks to a loaned trail camera, I was able to confirm that it is a visiting otter that is responsible for the annual frog and toad spawning time massacre that takes place beside our lower meadow ponds.
Another important issue it might help to address after this shockingly wet winter, is the impact of slurry run off into our streams. Our son, who is a sewage/water civil engineer, told us at Christmas that the 2 most significant causes of freshwater pollution these days were overflowing septic tanks, and agricultural pollution from slurry spreading. One has a lot of sympathy for farmers whose tanks may be brimming after few opportunities to spread muck or slurry this winter, but we have witnessed numerous occasions where material is spread onto completely saturated ground – so presumably most of it just runs off into water courses very quickly. We shall certainly be thinking of doing some testing here of both ponds and our upland stream.