Volunteers litter picking in a river

Volunteer opportunities

Get stuck in and help us to protect, restore and enhance rivers

Covid-19 restrictions have impacted volunteering opportunities across our movement. We will continue to update our supporters, new and old, as restrictions ease.

If you want to volunteer for an organisation that makes a real difference to our rivers, you’ve come to the right place!

We have over 60 member Trusts who regularly run volunteer events across the UK and Ireland. Our level of coverage means you’re bound to be able to find an event near you.

There’s something for everyone; our local Trusts offer a range of different events, from strenuous work to more relaxed activities. You can pick and choose which projects you want to get involved with and do as little or as much as you like; there’s no pressure! There is always time for breaks, usually including a cup of tea and a biscuit (or two).

What could you do?


Habitat creation: imagine playing a part in creating an entirely new habitat! Our local Trusts regularly run volunteering days where you can take part in tree planting or wetland creation. This can be strenuous work, but it can also be adapted to suit your activity level.

Invasive species removal: ‘Balsam bashing’ is one of our most popular volunteer events! It’s an incredibly therapeutic activity, and great for letting off some steam. Removing invasive species helps native species to thrive.

River clean ups: These are our bread and butter. Don a pair of gloves, grab your bin bag, and get litter picking. You can help to alleviate the pressure of plastic pollution and make freshwater habitats much nicer places to spend time.

Fish barrier removal: Some of our Trusts occasionally need volunteers to help with weir removal. You will be able to play a part in restore a river’s natural course, helping fish and other species move through the habitat freely.

Water quality testing: Water quality testing can sound daunting, but it’s actually really simple! Taking part in a WaterBlitz (a day where lots of people take water samples in the same area) is a great way to assess sources of water pollution and monitor any changes.

Interested in volunteering?

With any luck, you’ll be able to find a local volunteer event close to you!

If you can’t see anything that catches your eye, find your local Trust and get in touch with them directly. Sometimes, local Trust events aren’t added to our calendar, so it’s a good idea to ask if there’s anything else available.

Back to top