Our country is home to 85% of the world’s chalk streams—some of the most ecologically rare habitats on the planet. Rivers provide two thirds of our water supplies, and support agriculture, manufacturing and energy, as well as giving us sanctuary and adventure. Our freshwater habitats support a huge variety of wildlife, and provide natural protection from flooding by storing water in the landscape and slowing the flow downstream.
Our rivers suffer from different types of pollution nearly every day. Weirs, dams and other man-made barriers disrupt fish and other species from moving freely through the river. Natural freshwater habitats like wetlands and ponds are being lost from the landscape.Find out how we're helping rivers thrive again
Our area includes large, lowland river systems like the River Medway making its way across the Kent countryside. We have several globally-rare chalk streams rising from our underground chalk aquifers as well as special clay rivers recognised as Sites of Special Scientific Interest like the River Beult.
What’s a catchment? A catchment is the area of land which drains into one river. We work at a catchment scale to consider all of the possible influences on the health of a river.Explore where we work
We started out as a small group of passionate volunteers on the River Wandle in South London, frustrated with the poor condition of their local chalk stream. The South East Rivers Trust is now one of the largest regional rivers trusts protecting rivers across the south east of England for future generations.
We have lots planned in 2022 to mark this occasion so watch this space. If you don’t want to miss anything, why not join our newsletter?Join our mailing list
One great way to do this is to volunteer on your local river, joining our team of 500+ volunteers working in many different ways to bring rivers back to life.
From monitoring the migration of the European eel into our rivers to helping remove shopping trolleys from the river bed or creating new spawning habitats for fish – we’d love to see you join us at one of our events. We also have opportunities to volunteer with us at your own pace, like our River Guardians scheme.Take action for rivers today