New report on riverflies - many rivers 'poor'

A landmark report, published 13 May, highlights the work of S&TCUK and Dr. Nick Everall of Aquascience Consultancy Ltd, looking at the diversity and abundance of aquatic invertebrates in 120 sites on 12 English rivers; 14 sites are described as pristine’. Phosphate enrichment and sedimentation in combination seem especially problematical. Some iconic rivers such as the Itchen, Lambourn, Test and Wensum, rank poorly” in the census. Shrimp (Gammarus) numbers were very low across many of the sampled rivers relative to historic, Environment Agency records.

S&TCUK plan further research, including water quality testing to zero-in on the causes of water quality problems. S&TCUK stress that the “…message is that action, not talk, is now urgently needed”.

The full report, Riverfly Census 2015, is available through the S&TCUK website

Or click here for the PDF version (5MB)

The Wessex Chalk Streams and Rivers Trust have used the same methdology to anyalse the invertebrate diversity and abundance on the Rivers Itchen and Test in Hampshire. A summary of their findings is available here.