citizen science

join our citizen science programme


Our network of citizen scientists are members of the public that take part in scientific research and monitoring. These volunteers are quite literally our eyes and ears. Thanks to citizen science, and with the information our volunteers collect, Ribble Rivers Trust are able to collect information on habitat health, water quality, wildlife populations, and more. The Trust is a data and evidence led organisation, so this information helps to form the basis of all our work.

Riverfly monitoring- this network of volunteers have been trained to test water quality by monitoring river invertebrate levels. They visit an allocated site monthly, carry out a kick sample, record the findings, and then send the data back to us. This is then used to track water quality over time and identify any potential problems. It’s a particularly good method for identifying pollution events which can often be missed.

Otter surveying- this network of volunteers walk a roughly 500 metre stretch of watercourse looking for signs of otters. This data is helping us build up a picture of where otters are in the catchment, and of the biodiversity in the Ribble catchment’s rivers, to help us better protect and improve them.

Bat surveying- this network of volunteers take bat recordings at locations where we are carrying out projects such as woodland creation and wetland restoration, before and after they’ve been completed. This helps us show how much bats love the work we do.

Priority Habitat surveying- this network of volunteers collect river naturalness data to help us discover new priority habitats, prioritise conservation action, and direct restoration work for damaged freshwater habitats. This is part of a England wide project run by the Freshwater Biological Association (FBA).

Barrier surveying- this network of volunteers go out and collect data on barriers in our rivers that restrict the movements of river wildlife. We can then work out which barriers we should remove first to help connect up the many kilometres of rivers we help protect.

Citizen scientists in action taking part in a habitat survey
Citizen scientists in action taking part in a habitat survey