Schools pupils from Luton and Houghton Regis have been monitoring the River Lea's vital statistics and logging them to help understand and improve the health of the river to ensure it remains a liveable habitat for creatures.
The activity has taken place as part of the Junior River Wardens project, run by community charity Groundwork Luton & Bedfordshire and funded by Thames Water Community Investment Fund.
Since October 2016, 12 schools from across Luton and Houghton Regis and four youth groups - including Houghton Regis youth club, North Luton Scouts, 1st Limbury Guides and the 24th St Anne's Cub pack – have taken samples and logged the data to assess the condition of the river at various points.
The groups have been looking for signs of pollution, testing the water for flow rate, pH, phosphates, dissolved oxygen, and turbidity as well as recording the range of aquatic animals that live in the water. Unfortunately, results have shown evidence of litter pollution, which is greatly impacting the feasibility of the river as a healthy habitat at Leagrave Park, Cats Brook and Manor Park in Luton and at Houghton Brook in Houghton Regis.
Rosie Cliffe, Project Officer at Groundwork said: "The young people have worked hard to collect and analyse the results so we can get a good understanding of what's impacting the River Lea in Luton and Houghton Regis. The results have been interesting and we look forward to working with more schools to gain further data in the upcoming months."
The results can be seen online as part of the Luton Lea Catchment Partnership website.