South Shropshire MP Philip Dunne this week welcomed new recruits to the citizen scientist project to test water quality along the River Clun catchment.
Volunteers from the River Clun Monitoring Group are leading efforts to monitor the river’s water quality following new equipment made possible by funds raised by the Shropshire Wildlife Trust, Clun and Chapel Lawn and Clunbury Councils.
Philip Dunne, who has led campaigning in Parliament to improve our rivers, met with volunteer monitors, local farmers and activists at Waterloo Ford in Clun.
Commenting on the project, he said: “I am delighted to have presented new river testing kits from Shropshire Wildlife Trust to volunteers who have agreed to do regular testing of various waterways within the Clun catchment to shine a light on the water quality within the River Clun. Despite being a relatively short waterway of 21 miles, the river is one of only three rivers in the country where freshwater pearl mussels are found.
“It was good to meet volunteers, both activists and farmers keen to see improved water quality, training to join the growing ranks of citizen scientists. They have agreed to take regular samples to study and record chemical and biological features, including pollutants as well as the river’s fish, crustaceans and insects, to help provide a detailed picture of the water quality in the Clun catchment which feeds into the River Teme at Leintwardine.
"I was alarmed to learn that the river bed had dried out in the current drought conditions upstream of Newcastle-on-Clun, where Environment Ahency officials had been on hand recently to help rescue fish and freshwater crustaceans. This really brings home the impact of climate change this summer and the need for us to think holistically about shepherding precious water resources for nature, agriculture and human use.
Mr Dunne added: "I am very grateful to Mary Eminson of the Clun Climate and Environmental Group for leading this initiative and to Dave Lewis of Shropshire Wildlife Trust who is leading this excellent river monitoring project."
Residents who wish to join the River Clun Monitoring Group should contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo Caption: local residents in the Clun valley join (seated from left) Dave Lewis of Shropshire Wildlife Trust, Philip Dunne MP and Mary Eminson of Clun Climate & Environment Group