Why the Conwy?
The Conwy is fit-for-purpose as a source to sea research platform as it has a few discrete agricultural and industrial sources enabling easier attribution of large-scale drivers of change e.g. climate and atmospheric pollution. It is of sufficient size (300 km2) to enable replication of subcatchments with a range of land uses and represents Wales' largest peatland to the sea. Land use types include large and quite discrete areas of mountains in the west, peats in the south, agriculture in the east, forestry in the centre which makes it possible to look at their influence at the larger river scale. The current landscape is therefore typical of non-industrialised areas of north and west GB.
Current interest from a wide range of stakeholders and research groups indicates this is an timely opportunity to integrate existing work and develop a coordinated approach to deliver a monitoring and research platform.
There is a wide variety of existing CEH survey and monitoring data available, plus various process and experimental studies and coastal research ongoing in the Conwy. In addition to CEH work there is a wide variety of work by other organisations such as SOS, POL, FACE, EA, CCCR monitoring and research. CEH will synthesise and integrate its data with those of other organisations and make this available to the wider research community to provide a research platform for source to sea research.