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What's in Long Ashton's streams?

Water is one of the most basic essentials of life on earth and our streams are very much a feature of life in Long Ashton. Yet how many people really notice them? Let alone know what’s going on in their waters? 

Volunteers wanted...

The LANCE Trust is keen to rectify this and has joined the rapidly increasing groups of people monitoring our streams, brooks, rivers and ponds.

Bristol Avon River’s Trust (BART) is working hard to protect our rivers for the benefit of people and wildlife and recognises that the Bristol Avon Catchment is a unique and beautiful network with the Bristol Avon at its heart. The water courses that flow through our parish – Ashton Brook, Colliter’s Brook, the Land Yeo and Longmoor Brook are tributaries that flow from a wide catchment area including Barrow Gurney, Dundry and Long Ashton, the majority of which flow down into the River Avon. 

One of the ways in which residents can help is to join in the Angler’s Riverfly Monitoring Initiative which is a national scheme set up to ensure water courses are monitored more widely and at greater frequency than is possible by the Environment Agency alone. 

The LANCE Trust has successfully applied for a grant from Long Ashton Parish Council to enable a group of volunteers to be trained, equipped and certified to join in this vital work.

Three trustees have already received training and found it both easy and rewarding with one saying:

“It took me back to my childhood with the joy of using a long handled net in a stream and watching fascinated at the array of wriggly life in the collection trays. But now there is the knowledge that I’m actively and importantly involved with protecting the local waterways, a guardian of all the life within them.”

The training and certification involves an on-site session to show volunteers how to record the presence and abundance of eight pollution-sensitive invertebrate groups such as mayflies, stoneflies and caddis flies with a further online theory session taken in your own time.

After that, the certified volunteers need to take 3-minute samples from the same section of river bed each month. More info can be found here.

The next training session lasting approx. 3-4 hours will take place in Ashton Brook within Theynes Croft in May and we hope to add another seven or ten volunteers to cover as wide an area as possible within Long Ashton, Gatcombe and Barrow Gurney.

If you want to be included, please get in touch with as soon as possible.

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