The Water Hub launched a series of exciting challenges at our annual networking event RIPPLE.  We are calling on our network of innovators to propose solutions to the Wear Rivers Trust to address their challenge of Mapping of Invasive and Non Native Species.  To see Paul Atkinson’s presentation from RIPPLE, download his presentation here. A contract will be made, to the value of £2,000 for a feasibility study to identify potential solutions and/or a trial of a potential solution in Old Durham Beck. If you have a solution, please download our Application Form here and send to [email protected] before Thursday 25 April at 17:00.

The Challenge Holder, Wear Rivers Trust, is a small environmental charity, juggling delivery of multiple complex catchment restoration projects which includes continual project development, funding applications, delivery, reporting etc. They conserve, protect, rehabilitate and improve the landscape and watercourses and rely on volunteer support to do this.

The Challenge
Wear Rivers Trust are currently delivering a a project which aims to produce a strategic full catchment INNS Management Plan and coordinate the treatment of invasive plant species including Giant Hogweed, Japanese Knotweed and Himalayan Balsam.  This challenge aims to trial a new approach to invasive species mapping in one priority sub-catchment called the Old Durham Beck. Our objectives are:
1. to improve the accuracy and consistency of data collection and interpretation;
2. to deliver efficiencies in the process (time and money);
3. to explore scalable solutions.

Solutions from remote sensing are particularly encouraged to apply.  Current data collection method – Coordination of volunteer walkovers and interpretation of data requires a huge amount of resource in return for incomplete, inconsistent and often unreliable data sets. To enable data collection to happen, staff have to secure landowner permissions, carry out multiple site specific risk assessments and method statements, produce survey protocols, train volunteers, coordinate walkovers and interpret data for uploading to GIS which is often difficult to read scribbles on paper maps.

Project brief – Wear Rivers Trust need a cost effective and consistent approach to collect and interpret INNS distribution data. The entire catchment is a large area, so the Old Durham Beck sub catchment represents the extent of this study. Using the current method, the cost to Wear Rivers Trust of mapping the Old Durham Beck will be approximately £6,750.  A contract will be made, to the value of £2,000 to identify and/or trial potential mapping solutions throughout the Old Durham Beck catchment. This is a competitive process.  Your application will be judged solely on the information you provide in the application form and any associated attachments.

The Water Hub will provide all applications to Wear Rivers Trust after the deadline. Wear Rivers Trust will be responsible for reviewing applications and providing feedback to the applicants in a timely manner.

• 21 March 2019 – Launch of challenge and call for applications
• 25 April 2019 – Deadline for applications to The Water Hub.
• The Water Hub will collate all applications and send to Wear Rivers Trust within 2 days of the deadline.
• 3 May – Wear Rivers Trust will review the applications
• 10 May – Wear Rivers Trust will provide feedback to The Water Hub on which applicant(s) has/have been successful.
• Wear Rivers Trust will award funding to successful applicant(s) on completion of the challenge by 7 June.

For more information, get in touch at [email protected]

*Please note that data submitted in the supporting application form will be reviewed by The Water Hub, and will be handled and stored in accordance with GDPR guidelines. The applicant can withdraw their application and/or ask for their information to be updated or removed at any point.