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Coquet River Action Group (CRAG)

This is a new, collaborative project, in conjunction with the Northumberland Rivers Trust which is bringing together environmental groups, parish councils, WIs, etc, along the length of the Coquet. Also, any other residents who are interested in maintaining and improving the health of the river and the quality of the water. Rothbury CAN has a group that is part of this project.

Jane Davis from Rothbury WI has been part of the team setting up the project.  Jane writes:

Water quality in the UK has been very much at the forefront of the news in 2023 and this, together with a National WI campaign for 2023 on 'Clean Rivers for people and animals' encouraged Rothbury WI members to start a Citizen Science testing project, supported by the Northumberland Rivers Trust (NRT) to monitor the quality of the River Coquet water. 

Our volunteer group of members has been testing weekly since October 2023, mainly, but not exclusively, downriver from the Rothbury Combined Sewage Outflow pipe.  The testing uses a Palintest sewage effluent test kit to record the measurements of river health - the permanganate value (particulates - effluent content!) the pH, the turbidity (how clear the water is), and the water temperature. We have also just acquired tests to measure the electrical conductivity, phosphate & nitrate concentration levels of the water.  In the Spring and Summer months, we will be dipping our boots in the river to start some kick-testing to look at the invertebrates and River Fly distribution. The data picture we are hoping to build up over time and share publicly with all interested parties will provide a good indicator of the river’s health and any issues.  

The NRT has brought together several other interested groups along the River Coquet in addition to Rothbury WI and Rothbury CAN, to try and initiate water quality testing from the source to the mouth of the river, so the project is already growing.  The co-ordinating group for this is called the Coquet River Action Group (CRAG).  The Environment Agency has offered to provide training and several free tests for these groups to use which will enable the project to take off from March this year.

Rothbury WI clean rivers project is one of the Co-op Local Community Fund causes for 2024 and if you haven’t already you can help us fundraise by signing up on your Co-op App or member’s site if you have the Co-op card.
If anyone is interested in taking part in the testing project please do get in touch (no need to be a WI member).
Jane Davis, Treasurer Rothbury WI, or email


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