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Goal: ecosystem health monitoring


  • provide a general baseline of river health
  • indicate potential pollution hotspots
  • identify opportunities for restoration or improvement
  • act as a ‘rallying cause’ for communities
  • early warning of big changes to river health
  • target investigations and/or higher tiers of monitoring


  • standardised approach, widely applied over the long term
  • examining a wide range of ecosystem health indicators at entry level
  • likely to include large numbers of volunteers and relatively high spatial density of sampling / survey locations
  • therefore likely to be relatively low cost / easy to use techniques
  • likely to include ‘light touch’ training (online and/or peer-to-peer)
  • sampling points chosen to be representative of overall catchment conditions (i.e. not unduly influenced by point source pollution)
  • sampling effort should be distributed evenly over the year with regular sampling interval (e.g. weekly, fortnightly or monthly for water sampling)
  • data suitable for reporting via standardised ‘report cards’ enabling easy comparison between locations and/or over time


  • Westcountry CSI – a suite of Tier 1 methods + holistic visual assessment
  • Water Rangers – structured, co-ordinated sampling using standard suite of equipment (Tier 1)
Updated on January 9, 2024

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