The Water Team manages our river and wetland work outside of our nature reserves. From advisory visits, through to the design and delivery of technical restoration projects, our team is successfully working to improve our freshwater environment for both wildlife and people throughout the county. Our work not only directly benefits our native wildlife by improving habitats but also delivers benefits for flood management, water quality and public access to the river.

The vast majority of our work is supported by dedicated volunteers. Our volunteers help us with a wide range of tasks, from providing office support, fundraising and professional photography at events, through to surveying, monitoring and assisting with the practical delivery of our river restoration projects.  Coming from all walks of life, our volunteers are both reliable and relentless in their contribution and commitment to the Trust. If you would like to find out more about volunteering with the water team please contact us at [email protected] 

Our current work falls under our the following main projects:

Wessex Chalk Streams Project (WCSP)

The WCSP is working to restore sections of the Hampshire Avon and its tributaries within Wiltshire. One of Europe’s finest chalk streams, the River Avon is a unique and fragile habitat and is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) Special Area of Conservation (SAC).

Working with volunteers and specialist contractors, the WCSP delivers a number of large and small scale projects each year. We can also provide expert advice to fishing clubs, river keepers and landowners to encourage best practice in river management.

River Guardians

Are you passionate about protecting your local river? Do you want to help your local community? Are you keen on walking in the countryside? If so, we can help!

Plants and animals that are not native to our country often arrive on our rivers by human introduction and their rapid spread can be overwhelmingly damaging to our native wildlife. Invasive Non-Native Species (INNS) are the second biggest threat to biodiversity worldwide. Eradication can be difficult, costly and in some cases, impossible, once they are established. 

This scheme is initially focussed in the headwaters and middle reaches of the rivers Wylye, Nadder and Ebble. The role of a River Guardian will primarily be to survey and record INNS but there is further scope to become involved in the monitoring of other species for those who wish to. River Guardians will also help to raise awareness about our rivers and encourage local communities to become involved with the scheme.

Source to Sea

The spread of invasive non-native plants along the River Avon and its tributaries threatens the future survival of our native plants and animals. In 2012, the Source to Sea Project was formed to remove problem species from the entire length of the Hampshire Avon. We are continuing our programme to target the upstream source of Himalayan and orange balsam and outbreaks of giant hogweed and Japanese knotweed throughout the catchment. ‘Balsam bashing’ work parties are fun and easy to take part in.

For more information please contact the water team on 01380 736066 or [email protected]ltshirewildlife.org