Opportunity to train as a riverfly monitor at Corfe River

A training workshop is being run by Dorset Wildlife Trust for those willing to don their wellies and paddle in the River Corfe to assess its water quality by counting the number of insects and invertebrates.

In 2018, the river was given a failure classification by the Water Framework Directive (WFD) for poor water quality. Since then a number of initiatives have been instigated including the regular monitoring of wildlife.

Corfe River
Pamela Smith

River Corfe by the stepping stones to Corfe Castle

One hour surveys on a monthly basis

The aim is to recruit enthusiastic volunteer riverfly monitors as part of the national River Monitoring Scheme, who can carry out one hour surveys on a monthly basis between April and September.

The training workshop, in partnership with the National Trust, will be held on Saturday 19th March 2022 in Corfe Castle, for all those who are interested.

Volunteers will be asked to sample, identify and count invertebrate groups, the aquatic stages of mayflies, caddisflies, stoneflies as well as freshwater shrimps in order to help provide a comprehensive analysis of the river.

Corfe River
Pamela Smith

The bridge over Corfe River

An early warning system of any potential problems

The data will then be used to assess river quality and acts as an early warning system of any potential problems.

Since 2018, Dorset Wildlife Trust says that good progress has been made to improve the river’s water quality by engaging with the local community, liaising with farmers and landowners, and through stakeholder engagement with parish councils and the National Trust.

Other measures in addition to the riverfly monitoring include fencing areas to prevent livestock from eroding the river bank, reducing tree cover to allow more light in to benefit wildlife, preventing silt entering the water course, and creating more marginal wetland habitat.

Watch more about Corfe River

Further information

More about volunteering and attending the riverfly monitoring workshop is on the Planet Purbeck website

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