NRFA Visit Yorkshire with the Environment Agency

In the first week of July, National River Flow Archive (NRFA) staff travelled to Yorkshire for a liaison visit to the Environment Agency.  Catherine Sefton, Amit Kumar and the NRFA Regional Representative for the North East of England, Rosanna Lane, were kindly hosted by Hydrometry & Telemetry and Hydrology staff from the Environment Agency’s North East of England Area.

The visit began with an office meeting, at which the flow gauging network in Yorkshire operated by the Environment Agency was discussed with a view to updating the holdings of the NRFA.  Over 90 gauging stations were reviewed for their inclusion in the NRFA daily flow and peak flow sub‑networks.  Updates in the supporting information were identified, resulting in improvements to station descriptions of hydrometry and other metadata.  Environment Agency staff also shared news of current issues and planned improvement works at individual stations.  The NRFA presented for North East Area staff the journey of the hydrometric data, following submission to the NRFA and the collaborative quality control process, through to usage in policy documents and national and international databases and research.

On the second day, there were visits to six gauging stations to the west and north-west of York.  The gauging stations visited monitor rivers that flow east and south-east, joining the Ouse and then within the city, the Foss.  The sites covered a range of different monitoring technologies (photographs of each can be found by following the links below to their respective station pages).  At Ripon, the station on the Skell at Ripon Alma Weir is a flat-V weir (NRFA station number 27086) and the Laver at Ripon Laver Weir a crump profile (27059).  The gauging station on the Nidd at Birstwith (27053) is a velocity area station at which the rating is derived from manual gaugings, the Nidd at Hunsingore Weir a broad-crested weir (27001), and the Nidd at Skip Bridge is a crossed-path ultrasonic (27062).  On a tributary of the Nidd, the Crimple at Burn Bridge is another flat-V weir gauging station type (27051).  It was very useful for NRFA staff to see these different types of gauging station and the landscape of their catchments, and to hear more about the benefits and challenges of each in the provision of flow data.

Such visits allow the NRFA staff and Regional Representatives to update their knowledge of current equipment, processes, and problems at each site, giving them a better understanding of how the river flows are measured. This information underpins the quality control of data submitted to the archive and allows metadata updates to inform the user community of new and emerging issues which should be considered when analysing NRFA data. The NRFA aims to conduct between two and four measuring authority liaison visits a year across the UK’s 24 regional hydrometric data providers.

We are very grateful to our hosts in York and look forward to continuing our partnership in providing data and metadata for the North East of England to the users of the NRFA.


Nidd at Skip Bridge, 5th July 2023        Visit to the Crimple at Burn Bridge, 5th July 2023