Citizen Crane

This groundbreaking citizen science project has been collecting monthly information on the health of the River Crane and Yeading Brook since 2014.  Every month volunteers record the types and numbers of key invertebrates at specific locations, under a national programme called the Riverfly Monitoring Initiative (RMI). The mix of invertebrates found and the number present provides a useful indication of water quality. The project has also been routinely sampling the watercourses for phosphate and ammonium. 

Some homes in the catchment have misconnected plumbing, meaning that water from washing machines, showers or even toilets can flow into the river system.  Also, there are places in the sewerage system where foul water sometimes overflows into pipes that should only be conveying rainwater to the local watercourse. The monitoring work of Citizen Crane can help to pinpoint places where such problems are occurring so that  remedial action can then be taken by the appropriate authorities. 

In 2016 and  2021, Citizen Crane undertook ‘Outfall Safari’ surveys along the main spine of the Crane river system, spotting and recording drainage outlets – routinely known as ‘outfalls’ – either from the riverbank or, where this was not possible, from within the river channel. The key aim was to identify any outfalls that showed signs of pollution.  A further, smaller, survey occured in 2022 (this time focusing on the Yeading Brook East). The information gathered by these surveys has subsequently been used by Thames Water to target investigation work.  Another full Outfall Safari is happening in the Crane catchment in Spring 2024. 

Watch this riverfly monitoring video:

Watch this Outfall Safari in-river survey video:

If you would like to participate as a volunteer in Citizen Crane’s routine riverfly monitoring activity, please click the button below: 

If you would like to learn more about water quality in the Crane Catchment,  please click the button below: 

View the Citizen Crane monitoring information below.

Monitoring Info

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Citizen Crane has produced annual reports for each year the project has been running.

Online Archive

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Have a look at our volunteering opportunities.

Get Involved

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