Riverfly Monitoring Initiative volunteers Helen and Dave Read from Shrewsbury are the first volunteers to record the Yellow Mayfly. They collect riverfly larvae on the River Severn at Shrewsbury once a month to help us build up a picture of river health.

The Yellow Mayfly Potamanthus Luteus is one of Britain’s rarest Mayflies. Known for many years only to the Wye and Usk rivers in Herefordshire; it has been found recently in various locations on the Severn.

River pollution, changes to river bank management and levels of silt in our rivers have all had an impact on the Yellow Mayfly and other river wildlife. As the adult Yellow Mayfly is attracted to light, the positioning of artificial light near the river bank may also have had an effect on breeding.

Severn Rivers Trust regularly train Riverfly Monitoring Initiative volunteers to take on a site local to them to survey for water quality. During this training, volunteers learn how to identify 8 larvae we use to assess water quality. They also take home a free sampling kit and guide to rare species such as the Yellow Mayfly and invasive species to look out for such as the Killer Shrimp.
“Riverfly sampling is a great focus to get out on the river each month to enjoy local wildlife. We are excited to be making a difference” Helen Read.

We have now trained 422 volunteers to sample river invertebrates and are currently monitoring 130 sites on 60 different rivers and streams. Our next free training course is on 12th September on the River Teme.

For more information contact Lisa Barlow at Severn Rivers Trust on 07967494219