Monitoring restoration: a volunteer-based approach
Volunteers working in conservation schemes are often involved in restoration projects. Yet, due to a lack of standardised monitoring, there is little supporting evidence that biodiversity or ecosystems recover as a result. There is also no suitable citizen science monitoring scheme available for volunteers to assess the ecological impact of their river restorations. Consequently, restoration designs are rarely evidence-based, and their impacts are not evidence-assessed. That’s not to say they are not effective, but rather we have very little evidence to support and help refine future restoration efforts.
Dr Murray Thompson has been working with the Riverfly Partnership, among others, to develop a standardised approach which will enable volunteers to assess both changes in water quality and the ecological outcomes of river habitat restoration. In addition volunteers will be able to compare their results with those gained from the assessment of other restoration projects.