One of my Things to do in 2012 was to ‘volunteer’. Good idea, several of you have emailed me on this. But it is quite difficult to fit in with work and life in general.
Recently I had an email forwarded to me from South Cumbria Rivers Trust. Like many environmental organisations they are being hit hard by reduced government funding and therefore lack of man power to do surveys and gather data on the health of our rivers.
The new project they are promoting is for volunteers to take basic data on the health of streams in the South Lakeland area. The training day I attended was the first to explain to volunteers what is required. If you have 15 minutes to spare on a weekend you can be a useful pair of ears and eyes for the Rivers Trust. I went along as I felt it could easily fit in with walking but also my passion for the environment in general and the Lake District in particular.
The training was interesting and helpful with people who were also passionate about our local area. There are a few very basic things volunteers have to observe: The size of the stones on the river bed, any erosion on the banks, any man-made intervention to the river flow, whether it be on the banks or across the river and the presence of pollution or invasive species.
The training day took place in Crake as initial surveys will be for the Coniston area, but if successful plans are to expand across the South Lakes area.
Have a look at the SCRT website if you can spare 15mins to half an hour of your walking to help. Or contact Emma Dyson for further information. I will keep you informed of my first Walk over Survey and any other information I receive.