Mapping air quality in Southampton – help needed!


Solent Air Watch team

We want to create an air quality map for Southampton – not just pollution hotspots but also ideas for cleaner air – can you help us?

We’re starting to collect ideas and data, and we’ve got a great opportunity to speak to people at upcoming events. So the Solent Air Watch team is looking for four enthusiastic helpers for our stalls:

  • at Let’s Ride Southampton, on Sunday 17th June 2018, in East Park
  • on Clean Air Day, on Thursday 21st June 2018, in Guildhall Square

We will be talking to members of the public about air pollution and creating a crowdsourced map of the potential sources and solutions to dirty air.

What are we doing to improve air quality?
Solent Air Watch is a citizen science project which will measure and map levels of pollution in Southampton. We will run workshops to build air pollution monitors (called ‘Sniffy’) as well as community events to talk about local pollution issues and develop neighbourhood action plans. By working closely with local communities we can find out the best way to tackle air pollution in different areas across the city, by understanding the barriers to change and proposing innovative solutions.

What would I gain by helping?
By volunteering with us you’ll be helping a great cause to clean up the air in Southampton, promote sustainable development as well as gain experience in public events. All of our events are light hearted and fun – you’ll have the chance to meet new and interesting people. You’ll receive an introduction to how we’re going to tackle air pollution using citizen science and the sustainable development sides of the Solent Air Watch project – so don’t worry if you’re new to the idea! Enthusiasm and the desire to do something new and positive is all you need.

How do I sign up?
If you have any questions please get in touch via our contact page! Refreshments will be provided during the day.

Josh and Mandi – The Solent Air Watch team





We’re Getting Funded!

Solent Air Watch and The Southampton Collective are pairing up to tackle dirty air in Southampton with the ‘Sniffy’ project! The Southampton Collective is one of 16 organisations selected to take part in the Connected Communities Innovation Fund. This a partnership between Nesta and the Office for Civil Society at DCMS, providing up to £2.7 million in grants, alongside significant non-financial support, to the best innovations that mobilise people’s time and talents.

The ‘Sniffy’ project will use open source air quality monitors and citizen science to help drive collective action on clean air.

solent air watch banner

To find out more fill out the short form on our Contact page.

Sniffy sensors

We’re installing air quality monitors (called ‘Sniffy’) across Southampton to develop an air pollution map of the city. We want to place these in areas residents are most concerned about. We’ll also be running community events throughout the year for you to build your own Sniffy monitor, help us develop the open-source platform and contribute your views on local air quality issues and help find potential solutions.

Let’s work together to clean up our air!




National Clean Air Day – LIVE in West Quay!

The 15th of June 2017 marked the UK’s first National Clean Air Day. On the day, a number of events took place across Southampton. The aim was to promote air quality and bring awareness to air pollution, which is mostly invisible. Southampton City Council is one of six national focus cities supporting National Clean Air Day and Solent Air Watch was offered to join the event at the Westquay shopping centre. An invitation we were more than happy to follow!

As Solent Air Watch’s very first public event, we were very excited to share our Sniffy monitor with the community. At our stall in the shopping centre, we did a demonstration of our sensors, using two Sniffies to monitor the air quality while displaying live data to a large screen as two graphs. One Sniffy sensor was used to measure the natural air quality in the shopping centre. The second sensor was exposed to particles in the air, such as dust, illustrating how our monitors react to particles in the air which make up one type of air pollution outside. As soon as particles were detected, the demonstration graph on screen jumped to a visibly higher level, illustrating the air monitor’s concept of detecting relative air quality differences.

Solent Air Watch team - Daily Echo article News

Solent Air Watch in the news!

Today, the Daily Echo published a news article about Solent Air Watch and the Sniffy air monitor. We are thrilled to see that our work is starting to gain traction in the media. We are even more excited that individuals are coming forward, reaching out to us to inquire about citizen science, as well as volunteering opportunities. Solent Air Watch would be nothing without the support of the local community, so if you haven’t already – feel free to get in touch. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

The mentioned “build you own Sniffy” workshops will start in September when our weekly meetings resume.

The full Daily Echo article, along with some great pictures of our team can be found here.

Air Watch Josh presenting News

Air Watch at the Research and Innovation Conference

We had an awesome first event, demonstrating five ‘Sniffy’ sensors at the Research and Innovation Conference, hosted by Solent University in Southampton. It was the first public event for Air Watch, where our citizen science idea and the first set of sensors were presented to an audience of students and academics. Putting all our hard work to a first test, the presented concept was engaging and simple – we used incense cones in the middle of a table to show how the sensors detect particular matter in the smoke and displayed the live data on the wall. Even though the audience was small, we had very good feedback and were able to connect with more people in different fields to increase awareness about the project. Stay tuned for further events and opportunities to see Sniffy in action!

Sniffy sensors in action - Solent University News

Sniffy has come to life

Today, our air quality monitor ‘Sniffy’ took its first breath…. as we held ours for a few seconds.

After months of development time, ‘Sniffy’ has finally come to life. Why is this big news? Well, for us it’s huge – with Sniffy we developed a new fully open-source air quality monitor. Open-source means, that we will make the drawings and code publically available to everyone. This helps reduce the cost and allows more people to work with us to develop the project which wouldn’t be commercially possible.

Sniffy is the tool to help make Air Watch a clean air revolution.

Sniffy and Air Watch were built on one idea – we believe that everyone has the right to know how good the quality of the air they breathe is. In order to do this, an affordable monitoring device was needed that can be easily used by anyone. ‘Sniffy’ is the tool to help make Air Watch a clean air revolution. With ‘Sniffy’, we can build a dense air monitoring network across Southampton to create an air pollution map across the city and identify sources of pollution. But this is nothing without support from individuals, as we are fully run by volunteers, so please get involved by going over to our sign up page to register your interest to host a sensor or help us with development. We can’t wait to hear from you.