The work we do falls into two broad categories – Science and Education. Our mission is to improve scientific understanding of the ecological health of the River Clyde and its tributaries, drive environmental improvements across the catchment and build capacity for its stewardship.
The Clyde and its tributaries are slowly recovering from centuries of human impact, the major legacies of which for the biota are the effects of pollution, alterations to water flow and physical alteration of banks and beds. Many of the watercourses are heavily modified and there is considerable scope for environmental improvement across the catchment.
The Clyde River Foundation is not a statutory body – we work to support environmental managers by providing evidence-based scientific advice on fisheries science and freshwater biology. Our approach has been to remain strictly independent but willing to work with all potential users of the freshwater resource for the public benefit. We are based within the University of Glasgow’s Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine and are members of the university’s Fish Biology Group.
Left to right: Aquatic invertebrate identification in the CRF lab, collection of salmon data from the River Kelvin and the use of SEM imagery to detect protozoan communities on host crustaceans
Since 2001, the Clyde River Foundation has delivered numerous education initiatives; most notably Clyde in the Classroom with primary schools across the Clyde catchment, but also bespoke projects involving secondary school pupils, young adults with the Princes Trust, adult education initiatives and eco-day activities with charities, Councils and schools. An overview of our education programme can be found here.
Through our partnership with the University of Glasgow, we teach in a variety of undergraduate courses and offer a number of undergraduate and postgraduate projects annually on any aspect of freshwater biology and/or fisheries science relevant to our work on the Clyde. Our vision is to increase public engagement with the river environment through education.
Left to right: pupils about to release brown trout fry raised through Clyde in the Classroom; Level 3 undergraduate teaching – Fish parasites and environmental indicators lab and a field trip to the Glengonnar Water to look at the impacts of lead pollution
The CRF promotes appropriate training for volunteers from local angling clubs and associations to assist us in our survey work. We feel it is important that anglers have the chance to engage with our fisheries science and first-hand involvement in the act of surveying allows volunteers to experience the process. One such opportunity is our annual ‘grayling day’ during which we invite members of local angling clubs to assist us in surveying grayling in a stretch of the South Calder Water. Training local anglers in the identification of invasive non-native plant species allowed the community to assist in mapping the distribution of these alien species across the Kelvin catchment.
Our citizen science project, the Clyde Riverfly Monitoring Partnership (CRIMP), trains volunteers to monitor a patch of their local river – riverflies act as the “canaries” of the river and can be used to detect changes in water quality. We assist local community groups who are interested in working on their local river. For example, we consulted with the community of Twechar to help them develop the ‘Board Burn Working Group’; the group is now actively involved in CRIMP, undertakes river clean-ups and has engaged with SEPA and Scottish Water to help better care for their river.
The Foundation has an active outreach programme which aims to connect people with our work across the Clyde catchment. We endeavour to engage with schools, angling clubs and community groups, really anyone with an interest in being involved with caring for the river. If any of our activities are of interest, please contact us.