Irwell Small Streams Catchment Walkover Survey
Small waterbodies including streams and brooks are critical for freshwater biodiversity and are increasingly recognised for their role in ecosystem service delivery. But many of these smaller watercourses are exposed to the same threats affecting larger rivers. Despite this, they often remain the least investigated part of the water environment and are largely excluded from water management planning. As part of the Natural Course Project, Catchment Walkover Surveys were undertaken on three small streams, all tributaries of the River Irwell, that were suspected of being polluted. The aim was to identify the extent and causes of diffuse and point source pollution. In addition the geomorphological condition of these watercourse was also recorded. This information fed into the development of a portfolio of potential projects, many of which were of a scale that could potentially be delivered by local community or interest groups. This report gives an overview of the findings and the proposed measures that could be taken to improve the identified issues.