We have a programme of citizen science for communities to measure air pollution in their neighborhood. We provide information, support and resources for groups to carry out their citizen science projects. These projects encourage participation in civil society, create knowledge, and build capacity in communities.
Citizen science allows people to explore their environment, discover things about it and also about science too. We measure the levels of nitrogen dioxide air pollution in these citizen science projects. Gas diffusion tubes are used which are also used by many local authorities in the UK and elsewhere. The main source of nitrogen dioxide pollution in most urban environments is vehicle emissions especially from diesel combustion engines.
We publish a short guide to using a gas diffusion tubes (PDF) whis is intended for groups undertaking projects with us but maybe of interest to others.
Citizen Science Programme 2019
We're continuing with our citzen science programme in 2019. If you'd be interested in one where you live then please contact us.
Citizen Science Programme 2018
Some of the groups with which we've worked in 2018:
- May Schools' project at St George the Marty, Holborn, London.
- June Enderby Wharf residents who oppose a crusie liner terminal, Greenwich, London; Glastonbury Town Council, Somerset.
- July Walton Parish Council, Somerset - concern at heavy traffic/lorries and pollution from them.
- August Enderby Wharf residents, Greenwich, London - a follow-up study.
- November Valley Hill Community Hub in Charlton (Greenwich), London; Red Ballon School, Harrow, London; Groundwork Manchester - projects at Hollinwood, Oldham (Oasis Academy Oldham), Rochdale (Matthew Moss High School), Bury (Bury East Ward Community Primary School), Alkrington, Middleton, Rochdale (Alkrington Primary School), Westhoughton, Bolton (Westhoughton Community Hub), and Citizen Science groups made up of residents in Ramsbottom, Bury and Middleton, Rochdale
Citizen Science Programme 2017
Photo: Fun for all the family! Residents of Charlton in the London borough of Greenwich install diffusion tubes for measuring air pollution.
In 2017, we worked with several community groups:
- January Charlton Central Residents Association (Greenwich), London; Slade Green Environment Forum (Bexley), London.
- February No to Silvertown Tunnel (Greenwich) for their Terry Grant project with groups in Beckenham, Blackheath, Brockley and Eltham in S E London; Haringey Green Party, London; Primrose Hill Transition (Camden), London; Camden Air Action for survey with all schools in Camden, London.
- March East Greenwich Residents Association, London; Greenwich Green Party, London; Climate Lab/Ahsan Khan for a schools project in Sutton (London).
- May West Hampstead Gardens & Residents Association (Camden), London.
- June Glastonbury Town Council, Somerset.
- July Hastings/ Bexhill (January – July), East Sussex.
- October Valley Hill Community Hub in Charlton (Greenwich), London.
Citizen Science Programme 2016
Photo: [left photo] Residents of Camden in London starting a citizen science programme in June 2016. Initially, they decide where to install diffusion tubes for measuring air pollution and mark it on a map, and then they put them up. [right photo] Elena demonstrates how easy it is! (Note: CAM005 is the designation of the diffusion tube shown.)
In 2016, we worked with several community groups and individuals:
- January St Ebbe’s New Development Residents Association, Oxford; Central Charlton Residents Association, London; Enderby Wharf (Greenwich), London; Slade Green Environment Forum (London borough of Bexley).
- February Richmond residents group & Roger Mason (Kew), London.
- March Primrose Hill Transition, London; Lora Macfarlane (school and flats in Parliament Hill, Camden), London.
- April East Greenwich Residents Association, London; Combe Haven Defenders (Hastings Bexhill bypass) & repeat studies.
- June Kentish Town Primary School, London; Camden residents including Camden Green Party. You can see a map of their results and indeed others conducted with Network for Clean Air here; A Better Lee Green, Lewisham, London (the second of their projects which we supported).
- August Haringey Green Party and Enfield Green Party, London.
- October West Hampstead, London (Helena Paul); Three Camden Schools (with Guy Shackle, school governor).
- November Transition Kentish Town, London.
Citizen Science Programme 2015
Photo: It starts with a plan! Residents of Lewisham in London started a citizen science programme in January 2015. Initially, they decide where to install diffusion tubes for measuring air pollution.
In 2015, we worked with several community groups:
- Groups opposed to the proposed Silvertown Tunnel (a new road tunnel under the Thames in London between Greenwich and Newham) in South East London, including No to Silvertown Tunnel; East Greenwich Residents Association; Westcombe Society; Charlton Central Residents Association & Slade Green Community Forum. You can find out more about them from the presentations at the Clean Air Convergence, July 2015.
- A Better Lee Green who are concerned about the inappropriate redevelopment of a neighbourhood shopping centre, The Leegate at Lee Green in Lewisham, London. More information
- Sailsbury Clean Air Network, an alliance concerned about poor air quality in Sailisbury, Wiltshire which included Salisbury Green Party. See article from Sailsbury Journal
- Stop the Almond Brook Link Road (SABLR). This was a repeat of an air pollution survey in 2014 with a community group in Standish, Wigan that opposed a proposed link road.
- Manchester Friends of the Earth and Hulme Residents from the Redbricks Estate in Manchester. See the project details and results on the website of Manchester Friends of the Earth
- Camdem Green Party who are concerned about unacceptable air pollution levels in the London borough of Camden and beyond. A workshop was held at the Clean Air Gathering in October with them and other residents. The results of their project are to be published in 2016.
Citizen Science Programme 2014
Photo: All a whirl! Members of Deptford Heart at the Pink Palace community centre, organise the installation of diffusion tubes for measuring air pollution, February 2014. Photo by Brenda Dacres.
In 2014, we worked with two groups in London: one in the borough of Greenwich (No to Silvertown Tunnel), and the other in Deptford - borough of Lewisham (Don't Dump on Deptford Heart).
Photo: Up, Up and Away! Residents of Standish, Wigan are installing gas diffusion tubes to measure air pollution, May 2014.
Photo: Paul Ogden, Stop Almond Brook Link Road.
Outside of London, we worked with a group in Standish, Wigan (Stop the Almond Brook Link Road).
Citizen Science Programme 2013
This citizen science programme started in April 2013 with communities of place - inside and outside London, and communities of interest - owners of the Air Quality Egg (a digital air pollution monitor), and shops owned by Lush.