Our globally-rare chalk streams sparkle their way through the county and down to the coast at Christchurch, their gin-clear waters brimming with wild trout and salmon.

The River Avon and its tributaries the Wylye, Nadder, Till, Bourne and Ebble offer anglers incomparable fly fishing and nature lovers the opportunity to spot European otters and Water voles if they are very lucky, and to enjoy the rich birdlife and wild flowers.

One of Europe’s finest chalk streams, the River Avon is a unique and fragile habitat and is so special that it is protected by a string of international designations. It is a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) and because the river and its tributaries are recognised as some of the best in Europe they are protected as a Special Area of Conservation for Atlantic salmon, Brook and Sea lamprey, Bullhead, Desmoulin’s whorl snail and typical chalk river plants, including Water crowfoot.

Through the ages the chalk stream has been badly damaged by dredging and draining and now our Wessex Chalk Streams Project (WCSP) is trying to restore whole sections of it to a more natural state for the benefit of wildlife and people.  Working with volunteers and specialist contractors, the WCSP has improved habitat for birds, fish, invertebrates and freshwater mammals, through a number of large and small scale projects.

The WCSP also provides expert advice to fishing clubs, river keepers and riparian landowners to encourage best practice in river management.

More about our volunteering opportunities-

When? Where? What?

Tuesday 21st February

Meet at 9.30am

Rivermead, Swindon

Meeting point:

Yellow Fish: Sticking stickers to pavements around Swindon to promote awareness of what goes into drains ends up in streams, rivers, lakes, canals, beaches or bathing water.

Please let us know if you would like to attend as this will be weather dependant as the stickers won’t stick if it wet and we will need to let you know if it’s not going ahead!

Monday 27th February


Meet at 9.30am

Wilts and Berks Canal, Studley Grange

Meeting point:

Tree Planting with the Wilts and Berks Canal Trust.

We have a selection of native trees and shrubs to plant on the banks of the recently restored Wilts and Berks Canal.

Friday 3rd March


Meet at 9.30am



Tree Planting

Meeting point is in the field over the bridge on the left on the footpath crossing the River Avon at Hackthorne Road.

There is plenty of on-road parking facilities a bit further up in the village in the daytime

Friday 10th March


Meet at 9.30am

Rivermead, Swindon


Tree Planting:

There is parking in the industrial estate.

Thursday 20th – Sunday 23rd April


Meet at 9.30am every day

Wilts and Berks Canal. Studley Grange


Wetland Plant planting with the Wilts and Berks Canal Trust.