Last month, the Rivers & People volunteers took part in The Thames and Tributaries ‘Plasticblitz’ week. This week of events was organised by Thames21, the Environment Agency and Rotary in the Valley (through their international End Plastic Soup campaign) to collate details on the amount and differing types of plastic pollution groups find across The Thames and it’s tributaries.
The Rivers & People group held a session at Brookmill Park where we cleared 6 bags of rubbish from the Ravensbourne River and it’s banks. A wide variety of litter was collected from plastic bottles to curtains. Our team collected 6 full bags of rubbish over a few hours and covered a stretch of river over 250 metres.
Do you cherish rivers and enjoy exploring them? Do you love the wildlife that roams our countryside? Do you want to learn about what’s being done to protect London’s life-giving rivers and how you can help?
Then join us for the third annual London Rivers Week, running from Saturday June 23 to Sunday July 1. This year’s theme is Valuing Water, and our partners are putting on a fascinating list of free activities, with something for all the family – from walks and talks and a kayak event to demonstrations and even a film premiere.
You won’t want to miss our launch event on Sunday 24th June, at Ladywell Fields from 12pm to 3pm.
You’ll be able to become a dragonfly detective, explore what’s in the water through river dipping and make discoveries through riverfly monitoring.
The event will be a showcase of citizen science programmes by a range of partners.
Find out, for example, how Thames21 volunteers collect data about the types of plastic found in the Thames, or how water quality is tested by robot boats. There are 600km of waterways in the capital. That’s the same as the distance between Brighton and Edinburgh.
And during the week, you’ll have the chance to learn about the issues that affect many of them.
Do you fancy getting to know your local stretch of river better by clearing litter? Or taking over the invasive species which also choke our rivers? We’ve also got events like that, which will help you make a difference to these lifebloods for wildlife.
Otters, trout, bats, kingfishers and eels all use London rivers – but increasingly they need the public’s help to survive and thrive, in the face of plastic pollution, sewage and the impacts of climate change.
London’s rivers are often peaceful, natural places, where we can escape city life. They are havens where we can relax by the water, watch swans nesting or if we’re lucky, spot a flash of blue as one of Britain’s most beautiful birds, a kingfisher, speeds across the water.
If you can’t wait, whet your appetite by reading case studies about 23 restoration projects which include Ladywell Fields, giving you a world of nature to explore at places that have been rewilded in recent years.
A little bit out of the Borough, but some of you might find this training interesting! (Thanks to the Rivers Trust for the information)
Location: Manchester, United Kingdom
The Rivers Trust is joining Keep Britain Tidy in assembling an army of #litterheroes for a UK wide mass clean-up as 80% of plastic in the oceans comes from land, and rivers are a significant pathway for it to get there.
To do this, they are calling on as many Rivers Trusts as possible to get behind Keep Britain Tidy’s Great British Spring Clean 2018 and hold a river cleanup volunteer event, to help highlight the importance of keeping our rivers clean.
To help Rivers Trusts hold a river clean up, we’re offering Rivers Trust members FREE accredited training for up to 12 Rivers Trusts who wish to hold a cleanup event over the weekend of the 2nd – 4th March.
This 2-day NCFE accredited course, called ‘Leading a Waterway Cleanup,’ is run by Thames21. The course will help you confidently plan and run a safe, effective and enjoyable waterway improvement event with volunteers.
They are proposing to hold the 2-day training event in Manchester (venue tbc) on Thursday 15th Feb – 16th Feb @10.30am – 3.30pm each day.
Day 1 will help you plan a waterway clean up event, covering urban waterway issues, processes and considerations involved in planning, identification of locations and recognising potential risks.
Day 2 will help you lead a successful cleanup event and will take you through the methodology for planning and running practical volunteer events, health and safety, and positive leadership behaviours and techniques.
In order to become certified, trainees must attend the 2 days and complete two assignments.
Location: National Council For Voluntary Organisations, All Saints Street, London N1 9RL, United Kingdom Date: January 30, 2018 10:00am—4:00 pm Booking: Via Eventbrite
Joint the Rivers Trust for a CaBA (Catchment Based Approach) Workshop in London to cover a range of issues including the 2018 benefits, evaluation and monitoring reporting, monitoring for catchment management encompassing water quality and the effectiveness of Natural Flood Management, CaBA and the 25-year plan, Km Enhanced and more.
Thames 21 foundational course, called Leading a Waterway Clean Up, is for people interested in learning more about waterways and why they are important. The course contains everything you need to know to plan and run safe, effective and enjoyable waterway improvement events.
There is no obligation to actually run events once you have taken the course. Some take it simply for the learning experience. But many do go on to assist our officers with Thames21-led events, and others lead events on their own with our support. Their trainees have engaged in some exciting work over the years!
How is the training structured?
Leading a Waterway Cleanup is a 2-day
course open to all, including those who may not have any prior experience with environmental issues or with working around water. We combine classroom sessions with volunteering so that you get the best possible learning experience. We also ask you to complete a small amount of written work. Our course is certified by ncfe*, the national accrediting organisation and you will receive your ncfecertificate upon completion. Having ncfe accreditation assures us that the content of our training is of a high standard and thoroughly prepares trainees to support and lead events on their own with confidence.
When do sessions take place?
We schedule sessions throughout the year in east, west and central London. Typically sessions are on weekends but there are some weekday sessions as well. Trainees must take Day 1 before Day 2 but do not need to take them in the same series. For example, you can take the Day 1 session offered in April and then, because of other commitments, not take Day 2 until July. Or September. Sessions are meant to be flexible.
See the bottom of this page for details on how to register for sessions.
We also deliver our Leading a Waterway Cleanup course to local groups who wish to be trained together. To schedule something for your group, please arrange for bespoke sessions by the Training Officer .
The event support team is a team of volunteers who assist our project officers to run safe, effective, and fun events. Become a badged group leader: With a Thames21 badge, Thames21 will support you running your own events.
How much does it cost?
The training is currently free for volunteers, with a Pricing Structure in place for volunteer managers and corporate groups. Please contact the Training Officer for more information
You must complete an online Registration Formbefore you can take any trainings with Thames21.
The first 3RCU took place in 2008 with the main aim to control the growth of Himalayan Balsam along the rivers. Himalayan Balsam is an invasive non-native plant that spreads quickly, clogging up river banks and reducing biodiversity. It shades and crowds native species and causes riverbank erosion, leading to an increase in the risk of flooding.
Now in its ninth year the 3RCU has largely brought the Himalayan Balsam under control. This success has given partners more time to focus on other activities to restore rivers to attract wildlife. It has also allowed volunteers the chance to discover, learn about and enjoy their rivers, and to take pride and ownership of them.
The project now has a new blog with lots of information about the project and how you can get involved. We would love to see you at one of our events, so keep an eye out of the next few weeks for more details about exact dates and locations.
In the meantime there are a number of ways in which you can contact the 3 Rivers Clean Up partnership. For individual organisations involved please see the Partners Page. Alternatively you can email the organising team, visit their Facebook page or even send them a tweet.
The January – March 2017 RBSM programme is now available. If you are new to the River Bankside Sessions, please check out our How to get Involved, FAQ and River Volunteering pages where hopefully you will find all the information that you need. If after reading this you have any other questions, please feel free to contact us. You can also read a little about the team that you’ll be working with.
The new River Bankside Management programme is now available. The volunteers will be continuing their work along the rivers, Pool, Quaggy and Ravensbourne. If you would like to join us, please read more about what we do on our volunteering page.