This web page contains information useful to volunteers working in our area – including information on invasive species found on our waterways – and how to identify them.

Volunteering opportunities on the River Avon and Kennet & Avon Canal

How to get involved in volunteering along the River Avon! There are many great opportunities for those who want to improve the canal and waterways, with a variety of different ways to get involved.

Canal VolunteersVolunteer groups include:

• WaterSpace Project – Why not volunteer with our project! Opportunities include internships and work experience placements for Geography and Environmental specialists, community ecology surveying and volunteering at community events. For more information about the project see www.waterspacebath.org.uk or email RiverAvon@bathnes.gov.uk.

• Canal and River Trust – full time and part time opportunities for a variety of causes more information found here https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/volunteer. Possible opportunities include:  Volunteer lockkeepers, Towpath Taskforce Bath, Restoration of Claverton Pumping Station.

• Bristol Avon Rivers Trust - community led organisation which delivers education, land and river management advice and practical river restoration work in the Bristol Avon catchment (http://www.bristolavonriverstrust.org/). To get involved in volunteering visit http://www.bristolavonriverstrust.org/who-we-are/rivers_trust_supporters/.

• Avon Wildlife Trust – Largest local charity working to protect wildlife in the West of England opportunities to get involved visit http://www.avonwildlifetrust.org.uk/volunteer.

• Friends of Bathampton Meadows Riverside – Wide variety of opportunities including environmental, education, recreational or health and fitness based, visit https://fofbmr.wixsite.com/fofbmr for more information or email fofbmr@gmail.com to volunteer.

• Avon invasive species forum – independent group who are aiming to raise the awareness of non-native invasive species in Avon (http://www.aiwf.org.uk/?page_id=124), opportunities include: conducting surveys, education, event organisation and publicity to get involved visit http://www.aiwf.org.uk/?page_id=128.

• Saltford Brassmill – The Saltford Brass Mill Project carry out a variety of tasks within the building and research the history of the Copper and Brass Industry (http://www.brassmill.com/). To get involved contact: enquiries@brassmill.com.

• Saltford Wombles – Local community group based in Saltford, volunteering opportunities involve litter picking and ways to reduce wastage (http://www.saltfordenvironmentgroup.org.uk/lesswaste.html). To get involved contact juliebsampson@gmail.com.

Grass cuting volunteers

Invasive species

Invasive species image

An invasive species is one that is non-native to the ecosystem and whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic, environmental or social loss. Further information about invasive species along the River Avon can be found here: http://www.aiwf.org.uk/?page_id=141.

Most prominent invasive species in the River Avon include (detailed ID sheets available from: http://www.nonnativespecies.org/index.cfm?sectionid=47):

• Himalayan Balsam (Impatiens glandulifera): is 2-3m in height with pink/purple flowers; it has explosive seed heads and dispersal of the species can be rapid due to seeds being shot up to 7m away and can remain viable for up to 2 years. Located – river banks and other damp environments

Himalayan Balsam ID sheet

• Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum): is up to 5m tall with small white flowers that are clumped in large bouquets. Located – river banks.

• Zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha): is similar in shape to marine mussels but smaller in size has a distinctive “D” shape and is ornamented with blue or brown and yellow-white alternating zig-zag or wavy bands. Located - Slow rivers, canals, docks, lakes, reservoirs and sometimes water pipes and cooling systems.

• Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica): grows up to 3m tall and has creamy white, elongated clusters of flowers. Located - Grows in most environments in bamboo like clumps.

Last updated: 26 July 2017

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