Clean River Kent Campaign May Update

News and events from our Clean River Kent Campaign group.

A view of the River Kent amid rocks and trees, using a slow shutter speed on the camera so that the water is blurred.

The latest update from our Clean River Kent Campaign (CRKC) group. Find out more about the campaign

Upcoming event – Saturday 11 May: Microbial Source Tracking with the University of Sheffield

Dr Isabel Douterelo will visit on Saturday 11 May to launch the testing programme at Staveley and Kendal Wastewater Treatment Works (WwTW). As you know, this will begin to clarify the proportion of the E. coli in the river water that is of human origin and the proportion that comes from other animals. 

The event will start at 10am at Staveley Institute, when Isabel will take us through the background to the project and how we take the river water samples. We aim to head off to Staveley WwTW at around 11am, back to Staveley for lunch around 12.30pm and then off to Kendal WwTW at around 1.30pm, finishing by around 3pm. The timings are approximate.

If you’re interested in helping with the MST testing over the summer, this event will be a useful introduction, explaining how the samples need to be taken.

This is an important study, with some unique features. The results should be ready by the end of the year and will be published by Isabel (with acknowledgements to CRKC) in an academic journal.

Everyone is welcome to join in for part or all of the day, and if you plan to do so, please let us know so we have an idea of numbers. Alternatively, there will be testing through the summer on probably four or five further occasions. These dates will be publicised in due course.

Update from the Staveley Clean River, Clean Streets meeting on 9 April  

The first Staveley Clean River, Clean Streets meeting was convened by United Utilities (UU) on 9 April. This will be a bimonthly meeting including CRKC and Staveley with Ings Parish Council, as well as the Environment Agency, Westmorland & Furness Council, and the Lake District National Park Authority. Its remit is to report progress on the integrated plan to reduce sewage in Staveley’s streets as well as modernise the WwTW.

It was a constructive meeting, with UU reporting good progress on their initial investigations using CCTV cameras. The minutes will be circulated when they are available. The next meeting is on 4 June.

Update on CRKC’s 2030 Vision 

We have updated our aims and objectives to reflect how the campaign has grown and what we have achieved.

The CRKC 2030 Vision has been developed to focus on the outcomes we hope to achieve over the next six years. This will be promoted on the website shortly. The website pages that are now very out of date are also in the process of being overhauled – watch this space!

Upcoming event – A public sector scorecard to underpin the CRKC 2050 Vision

We’re also developing a longer term vision to 2050. John Soady, a CRKC supporter, has offered to work with CRKC to develop a ‘public sector scorecard’ which will log CRKC outcomes and record the progress made towards these. This will require two half-day workshops, which John would facilitate.

Please let us know if you would be able to participate in this process – details including dates are to be agreed and more information will be made available soon.

Research on regulation of the water industry

Mike Armstrong, a CRKC supporter, submitted a potential MSc project to the School of Management at Lancaster University on behalf of CRKC. The School has decided not to take the project forward, so Mike will consider doing more work on it himself.

If anyone is interested in being involved with this, please let us know.

LIFE4R Kent: Phosphorus testing 

The LIFE4R Kent project aims to restore native species, such as the freshwater pearl mussel, to the river Kent. It’s rolling out a programme of phosphorus testing using a passive sampler. This will measure phosphorus over a two-week period, rather than the spot testing that we’re doing with FreshWater Watch. It’s been agreed that CRKC and LIFE4R Kent will meet up in September when the CRKC 12-month programme has been completed, to compare results.

Update on FreshWater Watch

Another thank you to all the 40+ FreshWater Watch testers – there are now 160 samples logged! As you know, Russ Hoare is compiling the results on an interactive map, which will also help us to identify hot spots and problems along the river Kent from Staveley to Levens.

Upcoming event: River Clean-Up on Sunday 9 June

Phil Clayton, a CRKC supporter, is organising another river clean up from Staveley to Burneside. Stay tuned for further details. 

Next Steering Group meeting: Tuesday 23 April, 4.30-6.30pm 

This will take place in Staveley Institute – everyone is welcome!