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Collaborative catchment management planning requires a wide range of technical skills and capabilities, especially around the use of data and evidence to underpin a successful strategy, to target actions on the ground and to monitor outcomes.  These pages highlight some of the training courses, workshops, resources, tools and technical support which are available to catchment partnerships to help build capacity in all areas of catchment management.  If you have suggestions for something to add, or an area of technical support or training which you feel is not being met, please email us This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or post on the forum www.catchmentbasedapproach.org/discussion.



The best way to encourage and facilitate the use of the spatial data in GIS applications is to train practitioners to develop their GIS and spatial data skills and, in so doing, build capability in their organisations. Environmental professionals are often highly ‘geographically literate’, but they do still require specialised, application-based training to become skilled GIS technicians who can then incorporate the robust and effective use of GIS into their day-to-day work.


To meet the growing demand for GIS training in the environmental sector Westcountry Rivers Trust have teamed up with the University of Reading, The Scottish Fisheries Coordination Centre (SFCC) and the Catchment Based Approach Support Group to develop a series of intensive GIS short-courses specifically tailored to develop and disseminate best practice and technical GIS skills for practitioners engaged in catchment management planning, landscape ecology, fisheries science, river restoration, ecology and conservation biology.

Westcountry Rivers Trust GISTraining

See a recent flyer for more information, including contact details to find out about upcoming courses.


Online GIS training modules are also available free for CaBA partnerships at Ecospatial eLearning Portal. CaBA partnerships can This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for a username and password

 ArcGIS Online and Story Maps Webinar 

This webinar is aimed at CaBA partnerships who would like to know more about how ArcGIS Online and Story Maps can help share data and evidence, publish a catchment plan and engage stakeholders. We structure the webinar around some key questions, with demonstrations of some of the catchment story maps which have been developed by CaBA Partnerships.

  • What is ArcGIS Online and why are CaBA partnerships using it?
  • How can I get it, what does it cost and what skills do I need?
  • What resources are available to help me get the most out of the technology?
  • What would be our next steps?

A recording of the webinar is available and you can download the webinar notes  and webinar slides 



We have also developed a one day technical training course to train CaBA partnerships in how to begin publishing online data and story maps.  The first course was run in Darlington in Feb 2018, and we can repeat this if there is sufficient interest. 



View the course outline and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - the cost is likely to be in the region of £150-200, depending on venue.


Here is the first in what we hope will be a series of bite-sized ArcGIS Online training videos. 

This one is a 5 minute introduction to the online CaBA data package and how to filter the datasets to your own catchment:



PINPOINT is a joint project between The Rivers Trust and Catchment Sensitive Farming Delivery to provide training, support and advice materials to individual rivers trusts and CaBA partnerships, so that they can better advise farmers in England on how to reduce diffuse water pollution from agriculture.

Westcountry Rivers Trust Ribble Rivers Trust South East Rivers TRust 

The PINPOINT website has a wealth of resources, including:

  • Online best practice information sheets
  • Templates to assist in the production of Integrated Farm Resource Plans
  • Templates for setting up Angling Passport Schemes

Regular training courses covering Diffuse Water Pollution from Agriculture and Fluvial Geomorphology are run by The Rivers Trust - see the PINPOINT website for further information and contact details.

CSF phase 3 logo 257x59 tcm6 15175 pinpoint RTicon

Catchment Sensitive Farming is a partnership project between Defra, Natural England and The Environment Agency.



In December 2016, The Rivers Trust ran a water quality training workshop for CaBA partners involved in the Natural Course LIFE Integrated Project in the NW River Basin District.  The aim of the workshop was to show what sort of information can be gleaned from different types of water quality monitoring data, and to make available a suite of tools and resources to help access and analyse existing data, and plan future collaborative monitoring strategies.

View the Workshop Agenda  and Feedback Summary, which also includes the actions we plan to undertake in 2017, to address any tech support requirements raised.


The citizen science and volunteer monitoring resource pack has been collated to support the CaBA partnerships in their work to protect and enhance the freshwater environment, and has been updated in 2016 with additional equipment and case studies.

This isn’t an exhaustive guide, but rather a collection of useful links, contacts, technical references and case studies which other CaBA partnerships have used and shared.  Download the updated 2016 guide as a PDF.

The Catchment Data User Group has also debated the potential for citizen science and volunteer monitoring to provide a robust evidence base and drafted some initial guidance around minimum evidence requirements for different environmental monitoring techniques: 



1. Querying and Interpreting the EA’s OpenWIMS Water Quality Archive

OpenWIMS Water Quality Archive (Alpha service - provide your This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.to help the Environment Agency develop this)

a. Paul Hulme's session - querying the OpenWIMS data archive and plotting a time series for a single sample point

OpenWIMS Exercise (Exercise taking you through how to access OpenWIMS and how to construct a query URL for a single sample point)

OpenWIMS Blank Template (Excel workbook to help download, format and plot water quality data from a single monitoring point)

OpenWIMS River Medlock Example (The OpenWIMS excel workbook with River Medlock example data)

OpenWIMS Measurement RMedlock (the downloaded CSV file from the URL query in the above workbook)

Answer sheet - OpenWIMS Exercise (Answer sheet for the exercise)

UKTAG Phosphate Standards Calculator (Cycle 2 phosphate standards vary in each waterbody, depending on altitude and alkalinity. this calculator helps you work out the standard for your river, so that you can plot this against phosphate measurements.)

WFD Standards and Classifications Directions (England and Wales) 2015  (PDF detailing the various WFD standards, including water chemistry standards.

Atkins Freeware Water Quality Viewer (another visualisation tool for graphing multiple determinands at single sampling points)

b. Michelle Walker's session - building more complex spatial queries and mapping results 

OpenWIMS Batch Exercise (Exercise taking you through how to use the Water Quality Sampling Points Finder to select and download a subset of points for your catchment, and then use the OpenWIMS Batch Query Constructor to write custom queries).


Water Quality Sampling Points Finder (Interactive map to help find and select a subset of monitoring points for querying the OpenWIMS water quality archive) 

OpenWIMS Batch Query Constructor (Excel workbook to streamline construction of more complex queries)


Mapping Open WIMS data example map (ArcGIS Online map showing a subset of results downloaded from OpenWIMS)
This is a very simple map as a starting point, but we will be looking to develop a range of mapping templates and tools to help visualise water quality data.  Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. what would be useful to you - e.g. GIS layer files to help you symbolise your data;  national datasets showing e.g. annual average phosphate; or instructions showing you how to produce a time-animated layer showing inter-month changes; a more sophisticated data dashboard, using 'big data' visualisation software like Tableau to show multiple determinands AND time and spatial data on the same screen?

2. Continuous v Regular v Spot Sampling – what difference does time make?
(Paul Hulme)

Observations on Chemical Water Quality Monitoring (paper by Peter Lloyd exploring the different information which can be derived from continuous versus spot sampling downstream of sewage discharges)

Continuous v Spot Sampling STW Exercise (Worked example showing what information can be derived from different temporal resolutions of data).

Appendix to the Exercise (additional notes)

Answer sheet - Continuous v Spot Sampling STW Exercise (Answers to the questions posed in the Exercise sheet)

Find out more about continuous monitoring kit in the CaBA Citizen Science and Volunteer Monitoring Guide

3. Water quality spot testing for targeting catchment interventions 
(Simon Browning, Westcountry Rivers Trust)



Survey recording template

Catchment scorecard template - coming soon.

4. Freshwater Watch – Citizen Science for Informing Catchment Management
(Ian Thornhill, Earthwatch)

Freshwater Watch website 

Presentation - coming soon

Worksheet - coming soon


5. Creating a Monitoring Plan as part of a Catchment Plan
(David Johnson, The Rivers Trust)

Water Quality Monitoring Plan Exercise (Develop a collaborative water quality monitoring strategy for your catchment)

Water Quality Monitoring Plan Template (A worksheet to help guide you through the process of planning a collaborative WQ monitoring strategy to answer questions in your catchment. Includes some examples)

The River Restoration Centre - Practical River Restoration Appraisal Guidance for Monitoring Options (PRAGMO) www.therrc.co.uk/monitoring-guidance  
Guidance on monitoring protocols, and how to plan the right things to monitor to demonstrate success for river restoration projects. Includes monitoring planner template, which we have adapted to create the above template.
RRC also run associated training courses – see the RRC website for details.








The Rivers Trust has some guidance documents giving practical suggestions, templates and legal guidace on  Managing Volunteers and Health & Safety 
The Rivers Trust also offer an Outdoor Emergency First Aid and River Safety Course Suitable for volunteer coordinators and monitoring teams.

Contact us on 01579 372142 to find out about future course dates.




The online version of the Scimap Risk Modelling framework became available in 2016.  Go to My.Scimap to register for an account.

The Rivers Trust have shared a video tutorial showing how to run the model, and display the outputs in desktop GIS, Google Earth and ArcGIS Online.

Training resources for the desktop tool are available Scimap website


CaBA Technical Support WebinarS 

During 2017-18 we will be running regular webinars to demonstrate some of the CaBA and RT technical support tools and resources and to cover emerging issues, with the chance for Q&A and discussion about future support requirements. Webinars will be recorded and shared online.

Some of the future topices may include:

  • CDM and Health and Safety.
  • NFM modelling and associated resources.
  • How to make the most of the CaBA Data&GIS package.
  • Data protection regulations: Implications for trusts

If you have suggestions for future topics, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

1. ArcGIS Online and Story Maps Webinar 

This webinar was aimed at CaBA partnerships who would like to know more about how ArcGIS Online and Story Maps can help you share data and evidence, publish your catchment plan and engage stakeholders. We will structure the demo around some key questions, but please feel free to contact us before the demo if you have specific questions so that we can try to address them during the session:

  • What is ArcGIS Online and why are CaBA partnerships using it?

  • How can I get it, what does it cost and what skills do I need?

  • What resources are available to help me get the most out of the technology?

  • What would be our next steps?

We intend to follow this introductory webinar up with some more technical sessions to help you set up your account and begin publishing online maps and story maps.

recording of the webinar is now available and you can download the webinar notes  and webinar slides 


We have also published a short video tutorial showing how to load layers from the Online CaBA Data Package in to a web map, and filter these layers to your CaBA catchment.



The CaBA support programme is tailored to meet the needs of the Catchment Partnerships based on feedback from workshops, conferences and other events.

At the Citizen Science and Volunteer Monitoring workshops in 2015, attendees were asked to prioritise their support requirements for various types of catchment monitoring and surveying - here are the results:


Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. what other training or technical support requirements you have so that we can plan future workshops and events.

Don't forget to publicise any upcoming training which may be of interest to Catchment Partnerships on the Discussion Forum





The Catchment-Based Approach website is designed to showcase the work of catchment partnerships aross England and Wales and to encourage the sharing and adoption of best practice in stakeholder-led catchment managment planning, delivery and evaluation.
Email: info@catchmentbasedapproach.org


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