UCL Department of Geography



The ECRC actively engages with the public through citizen science and pond restoration projects.

Through its research activities and especially via the in-house consultancy Ensis, it has strong links to the UK and devolved governmental departments and many other national and regional public bodies. The ECRC has over 30 years’ of experience in conducting long-term chemical and biological monitoring and using natural archives such as sediment records to reconstruct pressures and responses in both terrestrial and aquatic systems. We use these to inform policy and conservation practice with respect to environmental change and biodiversity loss.

OPAL (Open Air Laboratories)

The OPAL (Open Air Laboratories) Water Survey and Aquatic Monitoring project funded by the Big Lottery Fund was designed and implemented by members of the ECRC between 2008 and 2012, with continued involvement through to the present. The Water Survey aimed to encourage people of all ages and abilities to explore their local lakes and ponds and conducted a national scale assessment of water quality by using a citizen science approach. The monitoring project involved seasonal assessments of water chemistry and biology as well as persistent organic pollutants and trace metals in nine English lakes as well as a national survey, using volunteer samplers, of metal contamination of lakes and ponds.More information can be found at the OPAL Website

Aquatic Restoration Partnership

The purpose of the Aquatic Restoration Partnership (ARP) is to provide a definitive, comprehensive introductory peer-reviewed guide to aquatic restoration. A range of resources is being collated including links to restoration case studies, non-technical summaries highlighting potential threats to the successful management and restoration of aquatic environments and how the results from scientific research can provide a means of responding to these.

Pond Restoration Research Group

The UCL Pond Restoration Research Group (PRRG) uses scientific research to underpin practical pond conservation and restoration action, especially in agricultural landscapes. This provides a sound evidence base for restoring lost and fragmented pond populations and communities. The PRRG also run events, talks, workshops and practical restoration activities for local community groups and farmers. Find out more at the PRRG blog

London Freshwater Group

The London Freshwater Group is one of five specialist groups of the Linnean Society of London. Formed in 1973, it meets 2-3 times each year for the exchange of ideas and discussion on a range of subjects relating to freshwater science. Meetings consist of presentations on subjects such as recent research, conservation activity, industry and management issues and usually end with a social event at a local hostelry.  Summer meetings may include barbeques/meals or similar. Students at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels are especially welcome. More information at the London Freshwater Group website