We want people to enjoy rivers as much as we do. 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.
By volunteering with us, you will have the opportunity to:
We run a range of practical volunteering events each year – a great way to help your local river while experiencing something new.
You could join us at a river cleanup to help tackle plastic pollution and fly-tipping. Or take part in invasive species management, freeing a river from problematic plants like Himalayan balsam and floating pennywort. You could even work with us to restore a section of river, adding in important natural habitat features to support wildlife.
Becoming a River Guardian involves adopting a stretch of river that you visit regularly. After all, who knows the river better than the people who visit it every day?
While the scheme is currently seeking funding to continue, we have run this chance to volunteer on the Hogsmill, Wandle and Beverley Brook in South London. It was also introduced to the River Medway during the Preventing Plastic Pollution Project between 2020 and 2023.
We provided the tools and knowhow to enable volunteers to make a positive difference towards improving their local river’s health. Simple tasks such as collecting litter and reporting pollution incidents can make a big difference.
Riverfly monitoring is a national citizen science scheme that trains volunteers to monitor riverflies (aquatic invertebrates) as an indication of water quality.
Volunteers receive training with us and then join a team of like-minded individuals to sample a local spot on the river each month.
The data from the scheme helps us keep an eye on the health of our rivers, and highlights when there may be a more serious problem to address.
We run riverfly monitoring schemes on several of our rivers in the south east. Find out if there is a scheme near you to join.
Our River Rangers Team help us to discover and monitor invasive non-native species (INNS) on the Hogsmill, Beverley Brook and Wandle.
Our team of trained recorders work together to survey the entire length of the Hogsmill, Beverley Brook and Wandle annually, building up a picture of where the invasive species are and how well our management efforts are working in controlling them.
We’re working with an amazing bunch of volunteers to monitor the migration of young eels (elvers) on the River Ember, a side branch of the River Mole.
Between April and September our team of volunteers are:
This gives us data on the number of young joining the adult population and can highlight the impact of barriers, one of the principal threats to eels in freshwater.
Obstacles in rivers are major factors contributing to the dramatic decline of the European Eel but there are huge gaps in our knowledge of where they are and how they impact eel migration.
We’re working with our fantastic volunteer ObstacEELS surveyors to map obstacles to eel migration across the Mole Catchment.
The data they collect will enable a strategic approach to future eel projects along the Mole which will improve the river for this critically endangered species.