SmartRivers enables volunteers, supported by a training scheme, training videos, an invertebrate-identification App and support programmes, to monitor the water quality in their rivers to a near-professional standard.
SmartRivers takes your invertebrate monitoring to the highest resolution. By processing the species you find through our unique calculator, SmartRivers analysis can pinpoint what the problems in your river are and where they are occurring. This allows us to provide evidence to help prevent pollution occurring in the first place. This evidence can also inform you how to concentrate management efforts for the best environmental outcomes - conserving time and money.
We can only run courses with groups of around 10 volunteers, but if you are struggling to find additional volunteers your local Rivers Trust or Wildlife Trust may be able to help.
Upon enrolment into the SmartRivers programme and prior to training, a professional will come and 'benchmark' your hubs chosen sites in spring and autumn. This provides a baseline and helps us understand which invertebrate species are in your river.
S&TC will provide two day-long courses for your group of volunteers: the first course teaches how to take a three-minute kick-sweep sample and preserve it in alcohol for later identification to species level; the second course teaches you how to carry out species-level identification (only for the invertebrates you would expect to find in your river) using our App. After completion of your training, you will sample and analyse twice a year (spring and autumn).
We insert the species data into our unique scientific calculator that generates scores against common river stress types. Your data will be stored in our database to be shared with us and others working to improve our rivers, locally and nationally.
We appreciate that species identification is time consuming and not everyone's cup of tea, so we offer hubs the choice of two SmartRivers pathways: Sample & Identify or Sample & Send.
Salmon and Trout Conservation UK