River Health Project

The River Health Project is part of The Riverfly Partnership, which is a partnership of over 90 organisations across the UK undertaking invertebrate sampling in a coordinated and consistent way.

The purpose of this project is to measure the health of the river by recording the number of specific invertebrates at regular sites across the whole of the Calder Catchment river network throughout Calderdale, Kirklees, and Wakefield, and looking for variations in results. In particular we focus on invertebrates that are sensitive to pollution. Every time new data is submitted, a team of people set to work on analysing and storing the information. Should an issue be detected a protocol is then followed which aims to undertake further investigations, and hopefully trace the cause of the problem – it is only through this long term monitoring we can hope to have an early alert to one off issues, and to spot more long term trends.

In 2009 the Calder and Colne Rivers Trust introduced a water quality monitoring project on many of the rivers in the Calder, Colne, and Holme river catchment – and continues to train and support a network of citizen scientists across the catchment. With your help, we continue monitoring river health for wildlife, and detecting and pinpointing pollution incidents. Since the start of this project volunteers have taken over 450 samples from our monitoring sites, investigating and counting thousands of invertebrates, to reveal a hidden wealth of information about the health status of our rivers.

The Riverfly Partnership is hosted by the Freshwater Biological Association on behalf of the participating partners. Sampling results data generated by the project is shared with The Riverfly Partnership which is then shared as ‘open data’ under the terms of the Open Government Licence.

You can discover more about the River Health Project – incuding ways to support and get involved – on the project pages.