Our volunteers are incredibly important to the Trust; after all, they are the vital work force we need to help deliver our projects, and the eyes and ears of this vast area!
With over 3,114 miles of rivers and streams in the catchment there are activities that people people of all ages and abilities can get involved in. It is incredibly rewarding and an excellent opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors and meet like-minded people, as well as gaining experience and learning new skills.
All your help is appreciated, and volunteers can do as much or as little as they can manage. All tools and training is provided by us, as well as the most important part of any volunteer day- the brews and biscuits. Volunteer hours are also tracked, so we can send you certificates of achievement every time you reach a milestone number of hours worked with us.
We can’t be everywhere at once, but with a dedicated team of volunteers on the ground, we can get pretty close!
Tree and hedge planting- we all know trees are amazing; they provide habitats for insects, fish, birds, and mammals, shade the river keeping it cool in our increasingly warm summers, filter pollution, naturally reduce flood risk, and stabilise riverbanks. Plus, they lock up carbon, helping us to slow down the effects of climate change. No wonder tree planting is our most popular volunteer activity!
Fencing- fencing and tree planting which often go hand in hand. Putting up fences along riverbanks helps trees and other ground flora to flourish, improves the quality of the river by preventing direct pollution from animals, and prevents erosion and soil loss.
Brash bundling- this involves sinking posts into the riverbed, then filling the gap between the new posts and the riverbank with brash from fallen trees, willow cuttings, or Christmas trees. This quickly fills with silt, not only preventing further riverbank erosion, but also helping build the riverbank back up.
Clean ups- every year we get help from hundreds of volunteers who come together to keep our catchment clean, in a few hours a heavily littered area can be transformed.
Invasive species control- our catchments biggest invasive problem is Himalayan balsam- luckily pulling balsam is satisfying, and pretty fun too! Like clean ups the transformation takes just a few hours and it’s great to see the instant improvements you have helped to make.
Site management- once we’ve created a scheme, we can’t just leave it and hope for the best. Our schemes are regularly revisited and our volunteers help us to clean them, remove tubes, and control any unwanted plants such as rhododendrons which sometimes try and sneak into our woodlands!
Riverfly monitoring- this network of volunteers have been trained by us to test water quality by monitoring invertebrate levels by visiting an allocated site monthly, carrying out a kick sample, recording the findings and then sending the data back to us, which is then used to track water quality over time, and identify any potential problems.
If you would like to volunteer, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to put your name on the mailing list and you will receive notifications of upcoming volunteer events. If you haven’t got time to volunteer but would still like to contribute why not become a supporter of the Trust? For further details visit our supporters page.