Carbon Landscape

The Mersey Rivers Trust is leading on the Hey Brook Revival project as part of the Heritage Lottery Funded Carbon Landscape project.

We hope to improve water quality, reduce flood risk and create habitats within Low Hall LNR and the surrounding areas. Our main aims of the project are…

  • Recruit and train volunteers as ‘River Guardians’ to monitor water quality in several locations throughout the target area.
  • Create reed beds within Low Hall LNR to increase attenuation of water to reduce flooding downstream, provide habitats to a variety of wildlife and improve water quality by acting as a filter.
  • Install leaky dams to ‘slow the flow’ therefore reducing flooding downstream.
  • Raise awareness of misconnections and the negative impacts they have on water quality and subsequently people and wildlife.
  • Various other volunteer events such as invasive species removal, litter picks, kick sampling and water vole surveying.

The project begins where Borsdane Brook meets the B5239 Bolton Road. It then flows south through Borsdane Wood LNR to Hindley. From Hindley, the brook flows through Low Hall LNR to Hey Brook which runs parallel to the Leeds/Liverpool canal into Pennington Flash.


River Guardians - water quality testing

A water sampling training session was held on Wednesday 20th June where we trained 21 citizen scientists to monitor the water quality of their local brooks. Using simple La Motte test tabs we can keep an eye on the levels of Nitrates and Phosphates in Borsdane Brook. Our volunteers were also supplied with a secchi tube to measure turbidity and a Hanna meter to electronically measure pH, water temperature, conductivity and total dissolved solids (TDS). The data is entered into an online survey and mapped.

River Guardians - invertebrate kick sampling

On 17th July we held another training session where 12 volunteers learnt how to 'kick sample'. This is a technique where the bed of the river is kicked to disturb the sediment and the invertebrates that live among it. The invertebrates are collected in a net and the species and abundance are recorded. The type of invertebrates present give us an indication on water quality and can tell us if any pollution incidents have occurred.

Our volunteers are going out on a monthly basis and feeding back the data as part of the Riverfly initiative.

Next steps...

Water Vole suveys - May/June 2019


Balsam Bashes - June/July 2019


Leaky dams - October 2019


Wetland reed beds - Sept-Dec 2019



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