Citizen Crane

Organisation: Crane Valley Partnership

Location: River Crane, West London

Type: Case Studies & Projects

Link: Visit Website

The “Citizen Crane” project is the Crane Catchment’s citizen science project, monitoring chemical and biological water quality.

The Citizen Crane project combines RMI surveys of invertebrate health with water quality monitoring for phosphate levels and loadings

The River Crane is a small urban catchment in west London, covering around 120 sq km and running for around 30km from Harrow in NW London to its confluence with the Thames in Isleworth.  The river has great potential as an urban green corridor for the half million people living within 10 minutes’ walk but it has also been subject to two major fish kills in the last five years and ongoing chronic pollution.  It is classed as poor under WFD criteria and one of the main causes is high levels of phosphate.


Citizen Crane started on the ground in April 2014 following an initial feasibility study.  Its purpose has been to develop an improved spatial and temporal understanding of water quality issues, help identify and reduce pollution problems, and create a volunteer-led network of river monitoring teams to provide local community inputs for wider improvement initiatives.  Volunteer teams continue to monitor twelve sites on a monthly basis.

A steering group including Thames Water, Environment Agency and Crane Valley partnership links the project into the main decision making bodies in the catchment. A series of reports have been published on their website.

Take a look at the Crane Valley Partnership Story Map here. 

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