The CRIMP launch day was a great success – 73 delegates representing 28 organisations attended the meeting, which was held at the University of Glasgow. We were delighted to see Professor James Curran, Chief Executive of SEPA and champion of citizen science, in attendance. Willie Yeomans introduced the aims of the project and provided an insight into ‘Citizen Science’. Based on the geographical distribution of the organisations represented at the meeting, we were surprised and delighted to note that over 95% of the catchment could be surveyed during this 3-year initial phase of the project (see figure below, although we are almost certain to have the remainder covered too).
Guest speaker Stuart Crofts delivered a fantastic talk about his experience of riverfly monitoring in Yorkshire. He demonstrated the effectiveness of this technique in detecting changes in river quality (riverflies acting as the ‘canaries’ of the river) and highlighted the value of a strong volunteer network, showing how volunteers really can make a difference.
In addition to the talks, Louis Kitchen and Craig Macadam of the Riverfly Partnership led a hands-on demonstration in which delegates had the opportunity to examine kick-samples taken from a range of different-quality habitats and meet the riverflies themselves!
CRIMP project coordinator Lesley Gregg rounded up the day with details of the training programme and how to get involved. A high proportion of delegates expressed an interest in signing up and, whilst the training schedule was limited to 3 workshops per year, we are currently looking into ways to accommodate all interested parties. Thanks again to everyone who attended the launch – we very much look forward to working with you over the course of the project!