NOSES (Nutrient Ongoing Scrutiny Evaluation Surveys) is a method of water sampling for nutrients that we started in 2023.

We first identified a potential increase in phosphate levels occuring in the catchment between Sarratt Bottom and Solesbridge Lane as part of our baseline assessment of River Chess water quality, using Environment Agency monitoring data.

We therefore decided to explore phosphate levels between Chenies and Rickmansworth using citizen science, and developed a method of river water sampling that could be taught on the day.

Furthermore, we wanted equipment that would enable us to process the samples on site on the day, to provide live results for anyone taking part.

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We held seven organised survey days from March-May 2023, collecting and processing river samples for 85 sites between Chenies Bottom and Rickmansworth.

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What did we find out?

As part of this first phase of surveys, we didn’t identify the potential source of phosphate between Sarratt Bottom and Solesbridge Lane, but did find points of interest around Chenies Bottom and Sarratt Bottom that we would like to investigate further in 2023.

Join us for our next NOSES survey days on the River Chess


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NOSES Survey Day: Chesham

  • 18th October
  • 10:00

Join us for our NOSES (Nutrient Ongoing Scrutiny Evaluation Survey)...

Citizen scientist at work

The maps that you will see in our NOSES report: June 2023 were all created by our talented citizen scientist, Sian Hows.

This was Sian’s first project as a citizen scientist for the Smarter Water Catchment initiative, where she has brilliantly utilised skills from her career as a GIS mapping specialist.

Thank you Sian!

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If you’d like to receive our monthly newsletter with survey results, volunteer stories, event dates, information about restorative work and more, please do sign up below!
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History and heritage

The River Chess catchment has a rich history from mills to watercress, iron age relics to ancient meadows.