Celebrate our Wonderful Waterways in Rivers Week!

Monday 11th September 2017

Rivers Week Clean-Up 2016Rivers Week Clean-Up 2016

A week of special activities to celebrate the wonderful waterways of Surrey and the wildlife that depends on them is being held across the county this month. Surrey Wildlife Trust is hosting a series of inspiring talks, walks and volunteer days, which culminate in a weekend of fun family activity days on the River Mole and the River Wey.

Rivers Week 2017, which runs from September 16th-24th, aims to highlight the importance of Surrey’s waterways and the problems they face, while encouraging everyone to take an active interest in their future. 

“Our waterways are the arteries of our living landscape – they are the lifeblood of our countryside and vital to the survival of hundreds of species, including us!” said Jim Jones, Surrey Wildlife Trust’s Living Landscapes Project Manager.

Rivers are home to a host of much-loved species such as otters, water voles and kingfishers - some of which are either under threat or locally extinct in the county. Problems such as habitat loss, pollution and flooding are threatening our rivers and the wildlife that depends on them. 

“Rivers Week is a fantastic chance for all our partners – water companies, local councils, volunteers and community groups – to come together and celebrate the wonderful work we’re all doing to protect and conserve our waterways for the future,” added Jim.

This year's Rivers Week is sponsored by Thames Water and whether you're a keen river user, an active conservationist or a family who enjoys a riverside walk, there will be an event on a riverbank near you. Here is a selection:

Wetland Plant Walk - Join SWT ecologist Isobel Girvan on a FREE walk to discover and identify wetland plants on Redhill Moors – Redhill, Thurs Sept 21, 10am-12noon.
Waterway Clean-up Days – Litter clearance, weed removal and habitat improvements in Leatherhead, Woking, Dorking and Godstone – see website for details.
River Wey Festival – A family day out with boat trips, pony rides, music, crafts, stalls and a night-time river pageant - Dapdune Wharf, Guildford, Sat 23rd Sept, 11am-9.30pm.
River Mole Discovery Day – Discover the secrets of the river with a host of fun challenges and activities for all the family in Leatherhead – on the riverbank by Leatherhead Football Club, Sun 24th Sept, 12-4pm.

If you can’t make any of the events, why not plan your own river walk and use one of our spotter challenge sheets to look for wildlife along the way? Download your wetland wildlife guide here >> and get spotting!

The Trust hopes Rivers Week will inspire more people to get involved in caring for waterways in their area by signing up as volunteers. Its flagship ‘RiverSearch’ project is a citizen science programme which trains volunteers to survey, monitor, protect and conserve wetland habitats.

“We want to encourage people to pull on some wellies and get involved in the conservation of this precious wildlife habitat – whether it’s a one-off or on a more regular basis. It’s great fun and if we all work together we really can make a difference to the future health of our rivers,” added Jim.

Rivers Week 2017 culminates on ‘World Rivers Day’ on Sunday September 24th, when millions of people in more than 60 countries join together to celebrate the many waterways across the globe.

For further information about all the Rivers Week 2017 events in Surrey click here >> . To get involved as a RiverSearch volunteer register on our web page here www.surreywildlifetrust.org/riversearch.

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