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BEACON (Bollin Environmental Action and Conservation) is a non-statutory local partnership group working to improve riverside habitats and water quality in the River Bollin catchment. This covers a large area of rivers, streams and lakes in east Cheshire and Trafford. BEACON works with a wide range of groups including pupils from primary schools through to university students, scouts, guides, brownies, local community groups, friends of groups, corporate groups, farmers and land managers. By working with people to improve their local waterbodies, BEACON raises public awareness of environmental issues and threats, as well as giving local people the tools to resolve these issues on their own. Through citizen science BEACON builds local skills and knowledge, and boost confidence.
This project focuses on developing and supporting local community action by providing training and equipment to 20 volunteers who will be able to conduct simple water sample tests along Birkin Brook that will provide information on basic chemical analysis of the water and invertebrate life in the Brook. This project will build on the data already collected through BEACON’s water quality survey work done in 2014/15, and also more recent work done in collaboration with Manchester University and Birkin Fly Fishing Association to collect water samples along Birkin Brook for chemical analysis. It will raise awareness and ownership of water pollution issues with landowners and volunteers by providing them with information, evidence and skills. Habitat improvements will benefit everyone.