Riverflies are an invaluable to our freshwater ecosystem, and an important link in the food chain, but not only are they a valuable food source for fish and other wildlife they can also tell us a great deal about water quality in localised areas.
Riverflies spend the majority of their lives as larvae on river beds, they then emerge as adult flies in spring and summer. Their long life cycle, limited movements and constant presence combined with their specific habitat requirements makes them the ideal indicator of river health. A healthy river will generally support large numbers of riverflies, if we notice a drop in the numbers at a particular site it gives us a good indication that there may be a problem or a pollution incident.
Our Riverfly Monitoring Initiative is a network of volunteers and organisations who actively monitor water quality through regular sampling of freshwater invertebrates.
To find out more about volunteering to complete surveys please click here.