Think of us on #GivingTuesday – 28th November
Giving Tuesday was created in 2012 and has now grown into an international movement that is embedded on the social calendar annually, with the simple idea of doing good.
What better way is there to do that than make a donation on Giving Tuesday (28th November 2023) or instead of a physical present this festive season, to help protect rivers – our very lifeblood?
While there are many great causes, one that underpins our very existence – water – is hard to ignore.
Much of our drinking water is abstracted from rivers, supplementing what is stored in reservoirs to supply the needs of our homes and businesses.
However, in the South East we live in an area that is classed as water-stressed. This means that we are already facing a water shortage because of a growing population and climate change, which brings with it erratic weather patterns, from sudden storms from which we can’t capture all the water to drought.
All this puts huge pressure on the wildlife that thrives in rivers. Your rivers. Rivers that have been straightened, boxed in by concrete or boarding along the edges thwarting animal movement between water and land, or restricted by weirs and other barriers – all in the name of convenience for people at various times in our history.
But this has left our rivers unable to function as they should, to allow fish to migrate (some as far as the sea) to better habitats, to allow flowers to flourish to attract pollinators, or to give creatures that move between water and land the chance to do so.
The very habitats that support the wildlife that supports our existence needs help – and we’re on a mission to make that happen.
However, we can’t install fish passes or ‘rewiggle’ rivers to make them places where aquatic life can truly thrive without funding.
By the end of November, many people are already making decisions about gifts for the festive season. Many of you might be tempted by offers on Black Friday weekend (23rd to 27th November). But many of you might be thinking that a gift to nature might be better for your recipients for Christmas-time festivities this year – a year in which we have made inroads in many areas.
Some highlights from this year include:
- encouraging people in the Medway to take a first step to caring for their local river by addressing their reliance on single-use plastic – 70 people signed up to become official Medway River Guardians with many of them becoming River Champions.
- working with landowners in the Beult to install nature-based solutions to retain back water in the landscape for the benefit of wildlife and people. We’re now building up similar work on the Darent
- creating new fish passes, from a baffle weir to improving the wish stream so fish can access better habitats
- training citizen scientists to map out invasive non-native species on the Wandle and continued our volunteering events at Morden Hall Park
- starting to create a new wetland at Chamber Mead on the Hogsmill
- introducing rivers to dozens of schools and hundreds of children through our education programmes
- Hosting Loddon Rivers Week and contributing sessions to London Rivers Week
- Setting up a project to reintroduce water voles, eels and trout to the Hogsmill
- Advising the UK’s largest greenhouse salad crop grower on water resilience
We couldn’t do it without funding.
Please consider making a one off donation to the South East Rivers Trust this Giving Tuesday, or signing up to make a regular donation. Visit our donate page for details.