Catchment-based approach

The catchment-based approach is endorsed by the UK government as a means to deliver wide ranging benefits to the water environment through integrated land and water management, carried out by stakeholder-led partnerships.

Working in partnership with statutory agencies, charities, water companies and landowners, APEM’s unique integration of catchment surveys, remote sensing innovation, stakeholder engagement and practical work has put the catchment-based approach into real action on the ground throughout the UK.

We have shown that practical improvements to river environments can often be achieved simply and cheaply by an evidence based approach and good community engagement.

Field team on a walkover survey for diffuse pollution

River catchment management services

  • Baseline and wet weather diffuse pollution surveys in rural and urban catchments, including water quality sampling and analysis, plus follow-up farm visits and support with mitigation implementation.
  • Habitat mapping, fluvial audits, fluvial geomorphology and river habitat and corridor surveys.
  • Fisheries surveys compliant with the Water Framework Directive (WFD), including assessment of barriers to migration and passageway options.
  • Sampling and laboratory analysis of WFD biological elements, such as freshwater benthic invertebrates and diatoms. UKAS accredited laboratory analysis of phytoplankton.
  • Aerial surveys using remote sensing equipment to facilitate rapid catchment-wide assessments.
  • Data interpretation and reporting, including presentation of results in an interactive GIS format.
  • National team of field scientists and specialist consultants offering both strategic and rapid response capability, with a consistent approach across catchments.
  • Identification of soil erosion and calculation of costs to farmers using innovative 3D imaging based on data from aerial surveys.A 3D digital terrain map showing soil erosion in a farm field
  • Development of robust and cost-effective monitoring and evaluation strategies.
  • Development of web based catchment spatial data sources.
  • Management and remediation advice for land managers.
  • Catchment workshops and specialist agricultural advice for stakeholders.
  • Training workshops tailored for River Trusts and other NGO’s.
  • River Catchment Management 3
  • field scientist in river

River catchment management experience

  • Working with the Environment Agency, Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Countryside Council for Wales, rivers trusts, wildlife trusts and local community groups in more than 40 river catchments and across all 11 river basin districts in England and Wales.
  • Working with water companies, including Thames Water and Southern Water, to reduce the concentration of pesticides in drinking water sources, by catchment-based approaches.
  • Developed the Environment Agency’s standardised catchment walkover survey method.
  • Completed over 15,000 km of river walkover surveys in priority catchments.
  • Delivered training courses and workshops for the Environment Agency and community stakeholder groups.
  • Research for UK Water Industry Research (UKWIR) on remote sensing and aerial surveys for catchment management.

If you have any queries, please contact Dr David Bradley, director of freshwater ecology.
Alternatively you can email us here. Or call 0161 442 8938.