Sheffield citizen science project calls out for more rain gauge hosts

A new project needs Sheffield’s residents help to study rainwall and water levels across the city.

Thursday, 21st January 2021, 12:27 pm

Sheffield Lakeland Landscape Partnership is holding a citizen science rain project seeks to find out more about how rainfall amounts vary across the region.

The Sheffield Lakeland Landscape Partnership and Sheffield Hallam University are carrying out a joint research project funded by the Heritage Fund thanks to National Lottery players.

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Sophie is one of those getting involved and is pictured in her garden near the Rivelin Valley

The project has set up six monitoring stations on streams over the Lakeland to record water levels and flow at times of high rainfall. To make sense of this data, they want to understand how rainfall patterns and totals from valley to valley, or between Strines, Bradfield and Loxley, for example.

Residents are supporting this research by hosting rain gauges in their gardens and sending the data back to Dr Jon Bridge, an environmental geoscientist and associate professor in the Department of the Natural and Built Environment at Sheffield Hallam University.

As part of this citizen science project the SLLP are looking for more people to host rain gauges and contribute to this interesting work.

Dr Bridge said: “The data that’s coming out so far is promising and initial results are well aligned with the Met Office’s rainfall data. It will ultimately show if there are any spatial trends across the area and if these can be predicted based on weather pattern and time of year.

"We are trying to understand patterns of stream flow – and how we can reduce flooding through work to ‘slow the flow’ of water into streams – at almost a field-by-field scale in the Lakeland region. While there are ‘official’ rain gauges scattered around the region, there are none actually within the areas we are working. This project will help us decide how much we can trust the Weston Park weather data to predict rainfall in Loxley, or Wigtwizzle, for example, and whether we need to make any adjustments to our models to account for differences.”

If you live in Sheffield and would like to take part or would like more information about the Working For Water SLLP Project, please contact Steph Wood at Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust: [email protected]

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.