Calling Volunteers South Armagh River Watch Project
Ring of Gullion Landscape Partnership Calling on Volunteers for the South Armagh River Watch Project
The Ring of Gullion Landscape Partnership has joined forces with a national scheme, The Riverfly Partnership, to monitor water quality in the area’s rivers. They are calling on local volunteers who are passionate about the water quality of their local rivers to get involved. A free training session will be provided on Saturday 4June in Culloville Community Centre at 10.00am.
Volunteers will be trained on how to sample and identify the invertebrate life present in the gravel and silt on the river bed. Many of these tiny creatures are sensitive to pollution so their presence and numbers help indicate the quality of the water. Frequent sampling also acts as a deterrent to would-be polluters.
The project will enable statutory bodies like the Northern Ireland Environment Agency to respond quickly to sudden, severe water quality issues such as pesticide spills. In addition to helping address acute episodes of pollution, volunteers will also have the potential to make a significant contribution to long term plans, for example the local delivery of Water Framework Directive outcomes.
Newry, Mourne and Down District CouncilChairperson, Councillor Mickey Ruane said, “Community members are river custodians. They have a unique knowledge of their local rivers and using a robust scientific health check, their expertise can make a real, noticeable difference to how we monitor river quality. Healthy riverfly populations are a sure sign of healthy rivers, which means better water quality for everyone.”
The monitoring programme is part of the on-going conservation work being undertaken by the Ring of Gullion AONB and Landscape Partnership in its bid to improve the overall river environment in the area. The training will be provided in partnership with the Ballinderry Rivers Trust, the Riverfly Partnership and Northern Ireland Environment Agency. This training is free and supported by Newry Mourne and Down District Council, Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Ring of Gullion Landscape Partnership, and the Heritage Lottery Fund.Back