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AST Research Direct at IWA Regional Conference on Diffuse Pollution and Catchment Management

AST Research Director Prof. Ken Whelan will today (26th October 2016) give a presentation to the IWA Regional Conference on Diffuse Pollution and Catchment Management titled:

“The Small Streams Characterisation System – training volunteers to quantitatively assess and characterise small streams”

The presentation will cover the small streams assessment course developed by the AST.

AST Small Streams Characterisation System (SSCS)

In recent years there has been increasing interest in the conservation and management of small streams. These constitute a major proportion of overall river length. They are the arteries of our major salmon and sea trout rivers, but are easily blocked by impassable culverts, farm crossings and minor land use changes, and can be seriously impacted by apparently minor changes in land management practices. Small streams are also poorly protected by existing legislation. AST, with our partners the Annan Trust and the Strangford Lough and Lecale Partnership, commissioned Martin McGarrigle, of Limnos Consultancy, to compile a survey manual based on a small streams survey system. Teaching materials to accompany the manual were commissioned by the AST from the Galloway Fisheries Trust and Donald Paterson, a consultant with extensive experience in designing and delivering technical courses to fisheries staff.

With the enthusiastic assistance of the Stranraer & District Angling Association the pilot for this new course was held in Stranraer on the 14th and 15th June 2016. The course was delivered by Jamie Ribbens (Galloway Fisheries Trust) and Donald Paterson. AST’s Research Director, Prof. Ken Whelan was also present.


Stranraer & District Angling Association – SSCS Course Pilot June 2016


The manual and teaching materials had already been submitted to the Institute of Fisheries Management (IFM) for their review and input during the development of the course, and following the 2 day pilot course a full report was sent to the IFM Training Committee. The course, manual, assessment materials and outcome of the pilot course went before the Training Committee on Friday 8th July and received their final approval. Ian Wellby IFM Director of Training said:

“Having looked through the notes attached and the manual. I have no further comments apart from to say this is very good and represents a huge amount of work on their part and they should be congratulated for their comprehensive work. I would be very happy for the IFM to be associated with this course”.

Candidates that successfully undertake and pass the course will be awarded an IFM Certificate of Achievement. We are now planning how the course will be rolled out to organisations keen to deliver it to their own volunteers.

The course will have its own page on our website soon. But if you would like to find out more information in the meantime please contact AST:

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