Volunteers taking samples for the launch of the 1000 rivers project

Our Sussex-based Director attends the launch of the 1000 Rivers eDNA project on the banks of the Adur

Monday, September 16th, 2019

Giles Coe attends the inauguration of NatureMetrics’ 1000 Rivers eDNA citizen science project, held in partnership with the local Ouse and Adur Rivers Trust.

One of The Ecology Consultancy’s long-standing suppliers of Great Crested Newt eDNA kits, NatureMetrics, is the driving force behind the 1000 Rivers eDNA project, working in collaboration with the University of Hull and the University of the Highlands and Islands. Launched on 10th September, this is the first large-scale environmental DNA project using citizen science to monitor waterways throughout the North-Atlantic region.

In order to record the changes happening to the North-Atlantic region at an unprecedented scale, eDNA testing will be used to identify fish species and measure their presence in 1000 rivers.

The samples are collected and filtered on-site by local volunteers before being analysed in the NatureMetrics laboratories to create an extensive and vital database. The results are then sent to the volunteers.

The first of these citizen science sampling events was held on the banks of the River Adur, in partnership with the Ouse and Adur Rivers Trust, a local conservation charity supported by our Sussex office through staff volunteering and the loan of bat detecting equipment.

Giles Coe, one of our Sussex-based Directors, had the honour of attending the launch event and witness the first volunteers as well as local school children getting stuck in.

Nature Metrics lunch the 1000 Rivers project on the banks of the River Adur

The benefits of the project for conservation

There are escalating threats to waterways around the world, in England only 14% of rivers are considered to have a healthy status and freshwater species are declining faster than any other group.

Once the 1000 Rivers project is complete, the data will become publicly available and act as an invaluable resource for scientists, researchers and conservation practitioners, increasing the available pool of baseline data essential for a wide range of conservation efforts and providing a robust evidence base for management decisions.

As part of The Ecology Consultancy’s People and Social Engagement programme, all our staff are given a volunteering allowance to take time off and apply their skills and knowledge for the benefit of their community. Amongst other causes, we encourage our staff to engage in projects such as 1000 Rivers that will have valuable long-term benefits for biodiversity and conservation.

Find out more & get involved

To read more about the 1000 Rivers project and discover upcoming sampling events to get involved in, click here.

Published 16th September 2019

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