New trainee kick testers Steve Martindale and Mike Chester under close scrutiny!
This is the Ell Brook near Newent which is our secondary test site. As a tributary of the Leadon it gives a good indication of how healthy the wider environment is. Just upstream of the sewage farm it's also well placed to act as a comparison site with the Environment Agency Sampling site below.
We turned up a good sample here again with lots of "flat bodied" nymphs, Gammarus and Cased Caddis. We now have 5 people trained up to do the monthly sampling which means we can share the load now. The results get uploaded to a Severn Rivers Trust database which is also accessed by the EA. Counting follows a 3 minute "kick test" and we are looking for the 8 indicator species that act as a "canary" early warning system to changes in water quality. The Leadon was recently upgraded to "good" from "average" status which is good news all round. The main site that we sample is at Durbridge Mill just below the stone bridge.