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Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) seeks volunteers to help measure rainfall in Strathspey, Badenoch and wider Highlands

By Philip Murray

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School pupils are among those signing up to be volunteers.
School pupils are among those signing up to be volunteers.

VOLUNTEERS are being sought to help measure rainfall data in the strath on behalf of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa).

The national body is looking for people across the country to collect rainfall data daily at around 9am and submit the information online. There are currently 134 rainfall observers across Scotland who play an important part in collecting this valuable data for Sepa – the latest of which to sign up were pupils at a Stirlingshire school.

The information helps Sepa and the Met Office capture Scotland’s complex rainfall patterns in addition to the figures collated from Sepa’s 300 automated gauges.

The data helps Sepa make informed decisions on water management, flood risk management, long term climate research as well as informing industry, agriculture and infrastructure development.

Grant Kennedy, senior specialist scientist in hydrology, at Sepa said: “Every day Sepa works to protect and enhance Scotland’s environment and this is a great opportunity for any budding citizen scientists to get involved and make a valued contribution to our data research.

“We help Scotland prepare more powerfully for future increased flooding and the impacts of climate change. The data collected from rainfall observing contributes to our work around flood risk management so volunteers are playing an important role in that process.

“We would welcome new observers from anywhere across Scotland. We are particularly keen to get gauges... all across the Highlands. Having two gauges close to each other is useful to verify unusual events and as our rainfall is so fickle, there can never be enough gauges to capture the patterns.

“Being a rainfall observer is a rewarding and interesting hobby for people of all ages with an interest in environmental science and there is a great potential for teachers to engage their students in maths, geography and science in a practical way.”

For further information on how to become a rainfall observer visit www.envscot-csportal.org.uk/rainfallobs/about/ or to sign up visit www.envscot-csportal.org.uk/rainfallobs/

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