APEM provide a unique mix of ground and aerial surveys, agricultural advisory services, community engagement and practical remediation works aimed at reducing flood risk, improving ecological condition and drinking water quality and compliance with environmental legislation.

Our catchment-based approach

The catchment-based approach is endorsed by the Irish and UK governments as a means to deliver wide ranging benefits to the water environment through integrated land and water management, most often carried out by stakeholder-led partnerships.

Working in partnership with statutory agencies, charities, water companies and landowners, APEM’s unique integration of catchment surveys, remote sensing innovation, stakeholder engagement and practical field work has put our catchment-based approach into action delivering results for clients throughout Ireland and the UK.

We have demonstrated that practical improvements to river environments can often be achieved simply and cost effectively by an evidence-based approach and good community engagement.

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APEM’s team provide a wealth of services to support river catchment management including:

  • Baseline and wet weather diffuse pollution surveys in rural and urban catchments, including biological (macroinvertebrate, macrophyte, diatom) and chemical water quality sampling and analysis, plus follow-up farm visits and support with mitigation implementation
  • Habitat mapping, fluvial audits, fluvial geomorphology and river habitat and corridor surveys
  • River restoration 
  • Fisheries surveys compliant with the Water Framework Directive (WFD), including assessment of barriers to migration and passageway options
  • Sampling and laboratory analysis of WFD biological elements, such as freshwater benthic invertebrates and diatoms. UKAS accredited laboratory analysis of phytoplankton
  • Aerial surveys to provide catchment-wide assessments – quickly and cost effectively
  • Data interpretation and reporting, including presentation of results in an interactive GIS format
  • National team of field scientists and specialist consultants offering both strategic and rapid response capability, with a consistent approach across catchments
  • Identification of areas of soil erosion, loss and ingress to watercourses, and calculation of costs to farmers using innovative 3D imaging based on data from aerial surveys
  • Development of robust and cost-effective monitoring and evaluation strategies
  • Development of web-based catchment spatial data sources
  • Management and remediation advice for land managers
  • Catchment workshops and specialist agricultural advice for stakeholders
  • Training workshops tailored for River Trusts and other NGOs

APEM have worked with the Environment Agency, Irish Environmental Protection Agency, Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Countryside Council for Wales, rivers trusts, wildlife trusts and local community groups in more than 40 river catchments and across all 11 river basin districts in England and Wales.

We have used our catchment-based approach with water companies including Irish Water, Northern Ireland Water, Thames Water and Southern Water, to reduce the concentration of pesticides in drinking water sources.

APEM developed the UK Environment Agency’s standardised catchment walkover survey method and were commissioned to provide research for UK Water Industry Research (UKWIR) on remote sensing and aerial surveys for catchment management. 

We have also designed and delivered training courses and workshops for the Environment Agency and community stakeholder groups.