Stakeholder engagement

An important part of the environmental baseline monitoring project is communicating with the local communities and other stakeholders who are supporting us in the areas we are investigating. We have been doing this in a variety of ways to reach out to the widest possible audience.

Community engagement in Lancashire
Community engagement in Yorkshire

We recognise that, without the support of local communities and site owners, we could not have continued to deliver a successful monitoring programme. Throughout, we have provided opportunity to find out about the monitoring we are carrying out, how we go about it and what the results are showing.

Community events

In addition to the project reports, available through our project web pages and the NERC Open Research Archive (NORA), we have held a number of community 'drop–in' events in Lancashire and the Vale of Pickering. These have been very well received, and have provided members of the public, community groups and local industry with opportunities to talk to the project scientists about their work and ask questions. These informal events, held over an afternoon and evening, allowed people to attend and at a time to suit them.

You can read a short report on the latest Kirby Misperton drop–in event.

Videos

We have prepared two YouTube videos from our most recent events in Lancashire and the Vale of Pickering. These include interviews with some of those attending as well as the scientists involved.

We have also prepared videos on our different monitoring activities. These show the instrumentation we are using and provide an explanation of how it is being deployed. All of the videos are available on YouTube.

Web pages

We continue to update our web pages with new information and our data portal provides the latest real–time air quality, groundwater and seismic monitoring data available. The data is transmitted to the BGS from the field sites by mobile phone technology. This can be subject to poor signal on occasions, and this causes short periods when we appear to lose data. This is not the case, as the instruments continue to collect the data even though it is not immediately displayed on the website.

Real-time data

South Wales earthquake on Vale of Pickering seismometers

We know that our real-time data display is popular, because, when we temporarily lose the data feed or an event occurs, users often contact us to let us know or notify others by social media. The feedback we receive from users is helpful, as it helps us improve our monitoring.

A good example was when a significant earthquake (magnitude 4.4) which occurred in South Wales on 17th February 2018. A member of the public and social media notified us that this could not be seen on our real–time data display for some of the seismometers close to Kirby Misperton. The seismometers had recently been replaced and even though data was still being recorded, the BGS was able to make adjustments to the 'gain' (similar to increasing the volume) so that the event was seen on the graph.

More information.

Citizen science

The environmental monitoring we are carrying out requires significant support from the community. This support is provided in a variety of ways and includes property owners and industry granting us access to sample their boreholes for groundwater on a regular basis, or giving us permission to install our own monitoring points on their land. We sample around 25 groundwater monitoring points in each of our study areas and have installed 12 seismometers in the Vale of Pickering. We provide copies of the groundwater/surface water analysis results to the borehole owner.

However, perhaps the most impressive public participation is with the indoor radon measurement. This requires householders to volunteer to participate in our radon measurement study by agreeing to us measuring radon in their home. Over 130 households across the Vale of Pickering, and a similar number in Lancashire, have volunteered to receive a radon measurement pack. This comprises two radon detectors; one to be placed in the living area and another in a main bedroom. After three months, the detectors are posted back to Public Health England (PHE) for analysis and new ones provided. Already the results have verified the accuracy of the radon potential map for the area. They have also identified a small number of households with natural radon levels above the UK Action Level (200 Bq/m3). Where this has occurred, PHE have contacted the householder to provide advice on any action required to reduce radon levels.


Contact

Contact BGS enquiries for further information.