We’re being asked to test the water on the Isle of Wight as part of a new project.

‘Clean Water for Wildlife’ is a citizen science survey which is aimed at raising awareness of the true extent of nutrient pollution, as well as identifying clean water habitats, in the hope of helping to protect biodiversity.

Through the ‘People, Ponds and Water’ Heritage Lottery Funded project, Freshwater Habitats Trust is providing free Pack test kits that focus on recording two of the most widespread and damaging nutrient pollutants: nitrate and phosphate.

These kits are quick and easy to use, and take only five minutes to work out the nitrate and phosphate levels in your local pond, river, stream, lake or ditch.

Keep reading to find out how to take part…

Most freshwater plants and animals evolved over millions of years in a world where the natural level of nutrients in ponds, lakes, streams and rivers was very low. When more nutrients are added to the freshwater environment this can cause profound changes and the freshwater wildlife struggle to adapt.

Wootton Bridge mill pond could be one of the areas to check the water.

Sadly, it only takes a little pollution to damage habitats like streams and ponds, and to harm the most sensitive plants and animals that call these places ‘home’.

The people behind the Clean Water for Wildlife survey want us to help them find the hidden gems on the Isle of Wight – the places which are free from pollution and where wildlife can still thrive. It’s also to find out – for the first time – the true extent of nutrient pollution facing freshwater wildlife today.

Project Administrator of the People, Ponds and Water Project Administrator, Laura Quinlan says the Isle of Wight has real potential:

“We noticed the Isle of Wight didn’t have any clean water data, so we’re really interested in the Isle of Wight because there are so many fantastic species on the Island – the general wildlife is incredible so it could be a really good clean water safe haven.”

You can take part and sign up for your nitrate and phosphate kits here: https://freshwaterhabitats.org.uk/projects/clean-water/take-part/

Once the survey has been completed, the results should be entered on our website.

LISTEN: Laura Quinlan explains to us how the tests are done and why the Isle of Wight is now the focus of their work:

If you have any questions about the survey, contact Laura Quinlan by email via [email protected] or call her office number on 01865 595502.

On the morning of Saturday, November 25th, the Freshwater Habitats Trust is launching the official Isle of Wight Water Blitz with an opening event at the Riverside Centre, Newport.

You’ll be able to hear all about the Blitz, pick up your quick kits and to get some guidance on waterbodies you could test.

For more information on this free event, click here.