Areas of work

The Trust is working in a range of areas and is collecting data throughout the monitoring period. The first year of post-construction monitoring has been completed. The purpose of this post-construction monitoring is to establish a continuous data set that follows on from previous years.

The Trust will monitor for five years post construction (until 2022) and has received the first annual report from AECOM, the consultancy carrying out the data collection. Data is collected in the following areas

Implement the aquatic ecology management scheme required for the operational period of the Mersey Gateway Project and to include monitoring of different aspects of marine life in the estuary.  This includes:

  • algae
  • phytoplankton
  • marine mammals
  • canal and brook flora and fauna
  • and migratory fish

Five annual reports are produced between 2018 – 2022.

Monitoring of Freshwater Courses and water quality in the Mersey Estuary.

  • To include the measurement of the different chemical qualities of water such as pH and salinity
  • To include collecting water samples for comparison with the construction period.

Five annual reports are produced from 2018-2022, as well as monthly summaries of exceedances.

Monitoring of hydrodynamics and morphological change in the Upper Mersey Estuary. This includes 

  • Examining aerial photographs on a monthly basis
  • Checking tide gauge data on the movement of water in the estuary
  • A saltmarsh survey to look at the condition of this important habitat
  • Surveys on the banks of the estuary, looking for signs of erosion.

For the first three years (2018-2022) quarterly reports are produced. For the remaining years (2021-2022) bi-annually will be available. Monthly summaries of exceedances are available.

Monitoring of bird species and the quality of estuarine habitats. To include:

  • Summer and wintering bird surveys
  • Monitoring of bats through transect surveys
  • Monitoring and management of orchids and invertebrates close to the new bridge.

Wintering bird reports will be available yearly from 2018-2022) with monthly summaries of noteworthy observations. Common bird census data is reported annually (2018-2022) with monthly summaries.

Bat survey reports for St Helens Canal and Wigg Island are produced annually (2018-2022).

Reports on the National Vegetation Classification are produced in 2018, 2020 and 2022.

Orchid monitoring is documented annually in five reports (2018-2022).

Implement a scheme and programme for the mitigation of the effects of the Mersey Gateway Project on Wigg Island Local Nature Reserve which sits alongside the river in Runcorn in Halton.

To include new and managed habitats, tree and shrub planting.

Saltmarsh management:

  • Implement a scheme for the improvement of bird breeding habitat, including the creation of pools and the conversion of ungrazed to grazed saltmarsh in accordance with the Biodiversity Management Plan.
  • To include the management of saltmarsh by cattle grazing, the monitoring of newly created scrapes carried out by the Mersey Gateway Project.

One vegetation survey in year 3 (2020) is carried out.

We are able to share this data with interested parties – to get access to the reports please get in touch with us via email (, with the following information: your name, which report you are interested, and the reason for your interest (e.g. research, personal interest). We will then set up a secure, password protected way for you to access the information.