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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Midgelden Brook

Posted by on in Environment

It may seem like we haven't done much in a while as there have not been any updates. We have in fact been extremely busy and it is difficult to think of when we last had a day off.

One of Wal's projects was a new animation that helps illustrate the main processes involved in the pollution of watercourses by 'Ochre Water' from abandoned mineworkings. Click on the link below to take you direct to the page.

http://www.woodlandsvieweducation.co.uk/index.php/environmental-issues/minewater-treatment

 

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 More updates on minewater and invertebrate monitoring are to follow.

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Posted by on in Environment

The most recent round of surveying for Midgelden Brook was completed this morning and  it can be seen that all 3 sites are in decline. Recent spells of cold weather and heavy rainfall may have had an effect here but we are also keeping a close eye on the adjacent windfarm access track works. You can view the updated results in chart form here:-

Invertebrate Survey Results

Site 1:-

Water Temperature 9.40C

pH 7 (Neutral)

 

Site 2:-

 

Water Temperature 9.00C

 

pH 7 (Neutral)

 

Site 3:-

 

Water Temperature 9.30C

 

pH 7 (Neutral)

 

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Posted by on in Environment

The most recent round of surveying for Midgelden Brook was completed yesterday and yet again there are signs of life at Site 1 (opposite Woodlands View).  You can view the updated results in chart form here:-

Invertebrate Survey Results

We are also now recording water temperature and pH level as part of our effort to get a greater understanding in what is happening in Midgelden Brook.

 

Site 1:-

Water Temperature 7.50C

pH 7 (Neutral)

 

Site 2:-

 

Water Temperature 6.00C

 

pH 7 (Neutral)

 

Site 3:-

 

Water Temperature 6.50C

 

pH 7 (Neutral)

 

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Posted by on in Environment

We have just completed the most recent round of surveying for Midgelden Brook and are pleased to report that yet again there are signs of life at Site 1 (opposite Woodlands View). You can view the updated results in chart form here:-

Invertebrate Survey Results

We are also now recording water temperature and pH level as part of our effort to get a greater understanding in what is happening in Midgelden Brook.

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Posted by on in Environment

We have just completed the most recent round of surveying for Midgelden Brook and are pleased to report that some signs of life have returned to Site 1 (opposite Woodlands View). You can view the updated results in chart form here:-

Invertebrate Survey Results

Samples have also been taken for investigation of the Diatom population as part of our proposed quarterly study. We must thank the Environment Agency for their help with resources relating to Diatoms, and also to JK for preparing the samples and attempting to perform basic identification.

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Posted by on in Environment

Myself and Nettie recently attended an Invertebrate Monitoring refresher day held at the Crow Nest Park Golf Club in Brighouse. It was a fantastic day, with lots of interesting speakers and an opportunity to chat about results and get any questions answered.

Many thanks once again to Judith and Melvyn, their organisation skills making it yet another really enjoyable experience. It was also great to see how far things have progressed in terms of establishing a regular montoring programme and how enthusiastic all of the monitors and coordinators are.

We now have 8 months of survey results for Midgelden Brook which we have have summarised here:-

Invertebrate survey results

Hopefully before long, results from all the survey sites will be available in one location and we will provide a link to that data when it becomes available.

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Invertebrate monitoring is great fun. It is good to get out and about in the nice weather and do something that has a purpose. I enjoy kick sampling in the brook and catching the small swimming creatures with my super large pipette for identification. Wal is better at identification than I am, although it does get harder when the water is more like tomato soup (see first photo).

Compare the two river photographs. The first is of Midgleden brook at site 2 (see river monitoring page) before the reed beds at the Coal Authority mine water treatment plant. The water is fairly clear although there is still a lot of staining due to the iron. The second photo is upstream at site 1 - Woodlands View. The water is incredibly orange and the rocks are covered with a reddish brown sludge as you can see from the final photo. Surprisingly there is still life to be found in this part of the brook but the contamination makes it hard to locate and it tends to be limited to stoneflies, worms and the occasional leech.

Wildlife elsewhere on site is varied. There are many tortoiseshell and small white butterflies, and I am sure that I have seen some small skipper butterflies too. The bright green leafhoppers have done really well; I have never seen so many at WV before. We had loads of cuckoo spit (foam encasement of the leafhopper nymph) earlier in the year so I was expecting rather a lot, but the numbers exceed what I imagined. I will have to try and photograph them for the blog, along with some of the other creatures that inhabit the site.

The baby rabbits have grown well and are semi tame. Wal likes chatting to them as he works and they often snooze nearby in the sunshine. They have even recently taken to helping out with the digging. They quite like sheltering under the car, which leads to a mass panic when it is time to go home as the car engine quite obviously startles them.

The pond was almost completely empty of water so hopefully all this rain will fill it up again. Small frogs are everywhere on site, leaping out of the long grass ahead of us when we go for a walk. I’ve not seen any newts for a bit but they tend to hide amongst the rocks to keep moist.

There are still plenty of jobs to keep us busy this summer but we will take some time out to do some photography and exploring.

 

Hours of Fun.

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All of this rain and sunshine is great for our plant life. The wild flowers are currently giving us an amazing display of yellow and white blooms: Ladies Smocks (Cardamin pratensis), Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), Creeping Buttercup (Ranunculus repens) and one large Oilseed Rape plant. The Rowan trees have amazing fluffy white flowers and the Common Broom (Sarothamnus scoparius) is like a bright yellow explosion across North Woodlands. Down in Midgelden Brook, the Horsetails (I think?) are also starting to sprout.

The rabbits are proliferating like… rabbits. Wal has nicknamed the pair of baby bunnies on the lecture hall plateau Boris One and Boris Two. He can get quite close to them now and watch as they run and play.  They seem to be living in the woodpile behind the pond. We have also spotted a Deer in Midgelden Wood and seen the Fox trotting around the lower part of the moor. Wal was rather perturbed one evening last week when he was stood outside watching the Rabbits, and a Bat collided with his head! He thought that their echolocation was better than that.

The first Swallows have been spotted. As usual there was one, which seems to scout ahead of the others. A couple of days ago we saw a pair engaged in aerial acrobatics across the site. Hopefully the rest of the family will be following soon, especially as they tend to arrive with the fine weather.

Here’s hoping that we have some sunshine for our working parties this week.

Hours of fun!

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Photo shared by on in Environment

We carried out our first river-monitoring mission this weekend.

On Saturday, the ever supportive and enthusiastic Judith from the Calder and Colne Rivers Trust came up to Woodlands View to check on our technique as we took our first sample from Midgelden Brook above the mine-water treatment works, where the brook bounds South Woodlands.  This area has been tested in the past and nothing was found apart from a leech. 

The brook was running well and the water was fairly clear, although at first glance there was no sign of life.  We took three samples, doing a 30 second kick in each location.  Unfortunately, and to Wal’s great amusement, I had a hole in my wellie and it rapidly filled with exceedingly chilly water.  Still, it helped to weigh me down which was advantageous as the current was fairly strong in places and the bacterial mats made the rocks quite slippery. 

I also performed a rock check, turning over stones and shale in the middle of the brook to look for any creatures that may be clinging to them.  While this method was successful last week in the beautiful waters at Gibson Mill, I found nothing in Midgelden except scum and orange staining.

Wal carried the bucket of water back up to the lecture hall and we started to investigate the contents.  To our surprise we spotted a small stonefly and then my Dad pointed out a large Cased Caddis.  Wal found Caseless Caddis, and Olives.  There were a couple of other invertebrates as well but these do not form part of the monitoring.  Overall, we achieved an Angler's Score Index (ASI) of 4. This was totally unexpected and really pleasing as the water is slightly better than we thought, although it is still not as good as it should be.  However made a good comparison for the water lower down around the treatment works, which we investigated on Sunday.

Sunday's results were slightly more promising. Although in the first site at the treatment works we only achieved an ASI of 4 - the same as on Saturday at Woodlands View, we found another species on the list (Flat-Bodied Heptageniidae) and found an increased number of Stoneflies. Site 3 was lacking the Heptageniidae, but overall we had 4 species and with the numbers found, we achieved an ASI of 5.

 

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