CoN Coffee Morning compressed 2As the Call of Nature project in the Bollin catchment runs into it's second year, we've been very busy looking at what changes can be made to improve the water quality of Marthall and Pedley Brooks, which are currently in poor ecological condition.  

On Tuesday morning it was the turn of local residents to find out what they can do to reduce their water consumption, and how using low phosphate household products and toiletires can really help to improve the water quality of Marthall and Pedley Brooks.  

 

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A coffee morning (with magnificent homemade cake!) was held at a local home, with eleven people attending.  Everyone was very interested to find out about the negative impacts of phosphate pollution, and were concerned to find that is causes an increase in algal growth which can suffocate fish, fish eggs and invertebrates. Phosphates do occur naturally, but can also be added to rivers by leaking septic tanks, use of regular household cleaners and washing fats, oils or food down the drains.  Sally Potts, Project Manager, showed the local residents alternative household products and toiletries they could use, and gave out gift bags with samples of eco-friendly washing up liquid, body wash, skincare and water saving devices.

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The morning was a success with everyone saying they had learned something new, and were interested to try out the samples and would look to switching from their regular cleaning products.  For more hints and tips, please visit our project page here.  

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Thank you to everyone who came, and for Viv who hosted this fantastic coffee morning.  We hope to repeat this as an evening event in the near future.

You can find out more about last year's Call of Nature project here.  

Every October sees the return of Schools Week, a week of scheduled events run by the Bollin Valley Partnership.  The BEACON Project has been part of this week long set of events for several years now, and we were looking forward to takig part again this year.

On 3rd October the BEACON Project Manager, Sally Potts, went to Well Green Primary School in Hale to deliver workshops to four year groups of children, ranging in age from 5 to 9 years old.  

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The youngest students started out thier morning thinking about invasive non-native species.  Here they looked at food chains and the effects invasive non-native species can have on food chains, and in essence break these down.  The children then discussed what made these invasive species good at taking over, and used this knowledge to create thier own invasive species masks.  I think you will agree these pupils were very creative!

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In the afternoon the older children learned about what happens to the water when you pull out the plug from the bath, the sink or flush the toilet.  They discussed the things we use water for in our everyday lives and how much water this equates to (you can find out more about this here).   The pupils found out about how our waste water and sewage is treated, and how we can help by making sure we only put the right things down the plug or toilet.  The pupils enjoyed a sorting game with props to help them decide what can or can't be flushed!   Later on, they did some science and tested different samples of water for phosphate, and found out about the effects of phosphates in river systems.

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Thank you to all the pupils at Well Green Primary who took part in our workshops, worked hard and really showed their creativity.  If you or your school is interested in a FREE workshop please contact us using the form here.

 

Asian Hornet has been confirmed again, this time in Hampshire. This year this new invasive non-native species has been found in Hull, Cornwall and now Hampshire.Image may contain: plant, flower, outdoor and nature

Please be vigilant for this species!

Identification sheets and posters are available online and can be ordered, free-of-charge, from the Non-native Species Secretariat. http://www.nonnativespecies.org/alerts/index.cfm?id=4

If an Asian hornet is seen it can be reported via an online form, the Hornet Watch app; or by sending a picture to the alert email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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We had a fantastic day yesterday working with volunteers from Friends of the Carrs, especially on World Rivers Day! Got some trees coppiced, more planted up along the riverbank, bulbs planted in our new wildflower area, and re-did some of the fencing in that area too. A super-productive day of work and thank you to everyone that came along and got involved.

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On 10th and 11th of September, three Mersey Rivers Trust members of staff and several volunteers attended an Institute of Fisheries Management electrofishing training course. Day 1 was the theory section of the course which was held at the Swettenham Arms in Cheshire. Day 2 involved a short exam and then we headed out to the River Bollin at the Carrs in Wilmslow to have a go for ourselves. Everyone got to try out different types of electric fishing equipment and had a fish identification session. We found dace, chub, perch, gudgeon, brown trout, minnow, stoneloach, stickleback and bullheads. Despite the wide variety of species overall numbers were lower than expected.

The course was great fun and will allow the Mersey Rivers Trust to undertake more surveying activities as part of future projects.

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