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Five go Water Monitoring

September 28th 2022

Five volunteers (Ken, Carol, Peter, Val and Trevor) attended a morning’s water monitoring workshop, at Felbrigg Hall on September 13th, run as part of the National Trust’s Riverlands project. We joined five other citizen scientists in walking down to the infant Scarrow Beck, just below Felbrigg Lake, to learn how to take samples without stirring up the sediment at the bottom of the beck – not as easy as it looks! We then trooped back to the Hall for a two-hour demonstration of, and hands-on practice in, carrying out analyses of the samples for four separate pollutants: ammonia, phosphates, nitrates and suspended solids.

Fortunately, we are provided with a detailed step-by-step handbook – a good thing, as there was a great deal to take in!

The results of the sampling, over the course of a year, will help one of the Riverlands partners, the Norfolk Rivers Trust, with its engagement with farmers, encouraging them to develop practices that are beneficial to river quality, to wildlife in general and to their farmland.

Felbeck Trust is delighted to be involved in this project, because one of the tributaries of the Bure, Gur Beck runs close to East Beckham Common and through our Sustead sites.

On September 28th, Val liaised with the National Trust’s local Riverlands project manager, Tom Sayer to identify suitable sampling sites at these two locations. They got drenched in the torrential rain, but it was a good opportunity to see the impact of road runoff first hand. We are already contributing to the improvement of water quality in Gur Beck through the provision of the scrape on the Surveyor’s Allotment in Sustead and the pond at one end of Spurrell’s Wood, which take runoff from neighbouring fields and the road and passes it through reed beds, thus removing some of the pollutants.


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