hetton local history group in sunderland
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Hetton Local and Natural History Society Green watch logo

Green Watch      


River fly monitoring

In 2013, Green Watch commenced work with Hetton School to monitor certain aquatic larvae species of invertebrates resident in the local streams, in a co-ordinated project with the Wear Rivers Trust and the Environment Agency, known as ‘Riverfly monitoring’**.

This project is a positive, speedy method of monitoring the hydrological quality of local Burns, streams and Rivers, as only certain species of riverfly larvae survive in unpolluted waters. The monitoring involved members of the group and schoolchildren taking ‘kick-samples’ from each stream/Burn, counting the numbers of each required species, identified in the sample, and recording the data electronically. This data is then forwarded to the Wear Rivers Trust, each month, and builds up an electronic database of the counts taken, whereby the figures collected should reach above a specific amount, or ‘trigger level’, any counts falling below this specification then warrant investigation by all concerned parties as a possible ‘pollution event’ cause.

Work on this project was featured in the Sunderland Echo, October 2013, and is still undertaken today, with the same combined groups.

More recently, pupils from both Hetton Lyons Primary School and Eppleton Academy Primary School have experienced initial ‘taster’ sessions of riverfly monitoring with our Society.

Photographs of Riverfly monitoring and detected species

Kick-sampling Cased caddis fly Caseless caddis fly
Stonefly Flat bodied May-fly Olive May-fly
Emerged adult May-fly    

Natural History Lead Officer: Pat Robson, e-mail, patsyrob@hotmail.co.uk

Hetton Local and Natural History Society, Secretary: Alan Jackson, e-mail; alan.t.jackson@talktalk.net

 Lead Database Officer: David Wallace, e-mail; dwallace967@btinternet.com


-- info@hettonlocalhistory.org.uk --