Become A Citizen Scientist

Join one of our citizen science schemes to survey the Dee.

Our citizen science initiatives range from pollution monitoring and microplastic sampling to helping us identify invertebrates such as riverflies. We regularly run training sessions to become involved in these opportunities.


Pollution monitoring

Citizen scientists monitor tributaries of the Dee by measuring phosphate, a good indicator of pollution, and recording visual observations of pollution. The scheme spots pollution events, identifies degrading waterbodies and targets our work. Support is provided to report regulatory failures to government bodies or identify and implement solutions in non-regulatory cases.

Microplastic sampling

In partnership with the University of Chester, the Dee Microplastic Waterblitz is the first in-depth study of microplastic pollution in the River Dee catchment. Our citizen scientists are collecting water samples across the Dee catchment for analysis by student volunteers and researchers at the University of Chester. Results from the first phase of the project will be available in 2023.

Invertebrate identification

In partnership with Wildfish, we monitor invertebrates in three principal rivers within the Dee: River Alyn, River Ceiriog and Aldford Brook. Citizen scientists help to identify the invertebrates to species level. Each river has five sampling locations which provide data that will indicate long-term trends within the rivers, allowing us to monitor the impact of our work.


I first saw the Welsh Dee Trust call for volunteers on the website of the angling club I’m a member of. It appealed to me because I’d been concerned about the effects of an outfall from a sewage works into the River Ceiriog. Volunteering for the Trust meant I could test the water rather than just using my eyes and nose!

With all of the national publicity about the condition of our rivers, it’s satisfying to know that I’m part of trying to do something about it. Hopefully, as more people get involved and as more testing is being done to identify problems locally, those who pollute will think twice and make sure waterways are safe for people and for wildlife.

Iain, Selattyn

 Citizen science training to monitor pollution | © Jim Holmes

James, Welsh Dee Trust citizen scientist and recipient of our 2022 River Guardian Award, with Peter Powell, CEO

I’ve been enjoying the pollution monitoring. Really like seeing new places along the rivers and become more familiar with the landscape in which I live. Having fun doing it is important I think.

Your project came at the right time for me as I wanted to do something more meaningful so thank you for letting me take part.

James, Wrexham