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Volunteer projects

Our volunteer projects encourage and help communities to take pride in their local stretch of river or beach, protecting and enhancing it for future generations.

Just like us, our groups are about so much more than just picking up litter. They remove non-native species, survey plants and animals, restore habitats and unite communities around their local waterways.

It just takes a bit of teamwork to create an environment we’re all proud to enjoy. If you are interested, see if there is a project running in your area.

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RiverCare and BeachCare in East Anglia

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The RiverCare and BeachCare programme supports a network of amazing volunteer groups who work to enhance their local waterways and coastal environments. Located within East Anglia, this long term programme is managed by us and funded by Anglian Water.

Rivers and beaches are vital habitats for wildlife and inspiring places to be enjoyed. Our volunteer groups clear litter, carry out ‘citizen science surveys’, campaign locally and help manage the habitat. This can include removing invasive species and surveying for otter and water vole.

Our network is constantly growing, currently including 800 volunteers across 40 groups, supported by our team of project officers.

BeachCare in the South West

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Supported by South West Water and Sharps Brewery, BeachCare South West has completed almost 1000 beach cleans cleans across Devon and Cornwall.

The strength of the project are the groups that we work with. Some BeachCare groups have been beach cleaning every single month for seven years and we offer them guidance, equipment and support.

Groups are set-up to be self-sustaining and additional support is given for local anti-littering campaigns.

BeachCare groups across the South West have removed over 137 tonnes of litter and we are now embarking on a marine litter recycling project to ensure some of this waste can be used again.

LovemyBeach in the North West

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As a key partner in the Turning Tides partnership, we were asked to create a campaign, focusing on improving the quality of the North West’s beaches and seas. LovemyBeach was born and with the BeachCare programme, has contributed to huge improvements in the region.

In 1988 only 18% of bathing waters met minimum standards, but by 2016 we’d raised this to 100%.

By making small changes at home, at work or when visiting the beach, everyone has a part to play in helping keep the coast clean and safe. This could include changing what you flush down the toilet (we recommend only the 3P’s; pee, poo and toilet paper), always picking up your dog poo or joining us on a BeachCare litter pick; together change can happen.

WatersideCare in the Midlands

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WatersideCare is a partnership between ourselves, the Canal & River Trust, Severn Trent Water and the Environment Agency.

We work with volunteer groups across the Midlands, helping them care for their local waterways including brooks, lakes, rivers and canals.

Tasks include removing litter, dealing with invasive plants, water quality testing and carrying out wildlife surveys.

There are currently around sixty WatersideCare groups. So far, project sites include Birmingham, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton.

Groups also work across Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Lincolnshire, with new projects developing in other areas.

Cheshire Waste Reduction Volunteers

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The Cheshire Waste Reduction Volunteers, delivered by us for Cheshire West and Chester Council, have been cutting waste since 2010. This dedicated group of Cheshire residents encourage others to waste less by promoting home composting, Love Food Hate Waste messages and other ways to cut waste. The volunteers share their messages with the public at every opportunity – talking to people at events, community talks and working with schools.

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