Get involved with The Renewal Project
Your river needs YOU!
We are looking to recruit a team of volunteers (River Watchers) to carry out practical conservation work, wildlife and plant monitoring and to generally help look after the river Lambourn as it passes through Newbury.
River Watchers will receive FREE training in a variety of areas including practical conservation techniques, health and safety, first aid and species identification. Why not come along and see what you think? We meet every Thursday morning from 10-12 at the Riverside Community Centre. No previous experience required!
A volunteer taster day was held on Thursday 31st March 2016 at the Riverside Community Centre and the surrounding area to launch the joint project with Action for the River Kennet (ARK), The Environment Agency and the West Berkshire Council. Volunteers tried their hand at conservation techniques such as putting faggots and mattresses in the river, coppicing and litter picking. Since then, we have hosted volunteer days every Thursday, including a joint training with ARK once a month. Check out our What’s On page for upcoming events or come along any other Thursday from 10-12pm, meeting at the Riverside Community Centre.
What our volunteers have been doing:
Our team have been busy with practical conservation and maintainance tasks in the past year, coordinated by our Volunteer Coordinator, Laura Proudfoot.
Here’s some of their activities:
Cutting back vegetation and restoring the footpath
Litter picking – in the river and on the bank! (Waders supplied!)
Resoring habitats in the river through the use of faggots and mattresses
Sanding and oiling benches by the riverside
And much more!
What one of our volunteers has to say…
Ray Clayton says “It was only after I retired and joined The Ramblers that I became interested in learning more about the countryside through which I was walking, and decided to join the then small band of volunteers working to improve the Pang River Valley. That was about 12-13 years ago, and the tasks have grown since to include the Kennet Valley and now the Lambourn Valley with the RENEWAL Community Project.
My objectives were immediately realised, and gave me a renewed enthusiasm for getting out and seeing the development and improvement of the areas on which I had worked. The number of volunteers grew and this effectively gave me another group of friends with similar interests and objectives in retirement.
I find that keeping active in retirement is satisfying, healthy, and much of the work takes me to parts of the countryside outside my immediate neighbourhood. I can give as much of my time as I feel able, learn new tasks, and not get too bogged down with the organisational aspects of the work.
I also like to think that I am helping the local people who live near the Pang, Kennet and Lambourn River Valleys to enjoy the countryside around them”.
Some benefits of volunteering
- make new friends
- improve your local area
- learn new skills
- improve job prospects
- get fit!
Examples of volunteer activities include:
- river clean-up
- wildlife identification and monitoring
- meadow management
- hedgerow management