New Development Manager appointed to grow the Rivers Trust Movement and open up new opportunities in Ireland
The Rivers Trust has recently welcomed Constanze O’Toole to the team as Ireland Development Manager, a new centrally funded role dedicated to supporting existing and emerging local rivers Trusts in Ireland and the border counties in Northern Ireland. This is the first direct appointment to The Rivers Trust in Ireland.
Constanze is a native German and came to Ireland in 1998, on a one-way ferry ticket she won in a competition. She completed a Ph.D. in the field of freshwater ecology at Trinity College Dublin, studying the impact of an invasive species on the native ecosystem. She then worked as a Research Fellow in the Department of Zoology, helping implement the Water Framework Directive and investigating environmental pressures that lead to loss of habitat. She also recently completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Environmental Engineering at Trinity.
Constanze is a passionate advocate for the power of communities in protecting and enhancing their own environment, as well as preserving Ireland’s special natural heritage. In her new role, she will be responsible for supporting existing rivers trusts in Ireland; enabling them to diversify income streams and deliver more improvements to their catchment areas, at greater scale. She will also work with the many local community groups who are forming new Rivers Trusts.
Mark Horton, The Rivers Trust’s All-Ireland Director, said: “Over the last five years the growth of the Rivers Trust movement across Ireland has been staggering. With nine rivers trusts and two river associations caring for water quality and wildlife along thousands of kilometres of waterways, whilst engaging the public in education, training and volunteering activities, the support needs of these community-led organisations are ever changing.
“Our Ireland Development Manager will support Ireland’s rivers Trusts in finding new and innovative ways to make their activities sustainable and more impactful, bringing wider benefits, not just to the environment, but to society and the economy as a whole. We warmly welcome Constanze to The Rivers Trust team and wider Rivers Trust family across Ireland and the UK and look forward to seeing further growth of rivers trusts in the coming years.”