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:

• Canal and River Trust – full time and part time opportunities for a variety of causes more information found here 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 ( To get involved in volunteering visit

• Avon Wildlife Trust – Largest local charity working to protect wildlife in the West of England opportunities to get involved visit

• Friends of Bathampton Meadows Riverside – Wide variety of opportunities including environmental, education, recreational or health and fitness based, visit for more information or email to volunteer.

• Avon invasive species forum – independent group who are aiming to raise the awareness of non-native invasive species in Avon, opportunities include: conducting surveys, education, event organisation and publicity to get involved visit 

• 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 ( To get involved contact:

• Saltford Wombles – Local community group based in Saltford, volunteering opportunities involve litter picking and ways to reduce wastage ( To get involved contact

WaterSpace Project – There may be future opportunities to volunteer with the WaterSpace Project, carrying out work such as ecological surveys or volunteering at community events. We are currently not accepting applications for volunteers, but any future opportunities will be promoted on our website and on social media channels. In the meantime, please visit the Council Volunteers webpage to find out about other opportunities within Bath and North East Somerset Council, or get in contact with us at

Grass cuting volunteers

•River Avon Community Litter Picks - A volunteer group formed of members of the community leaving from the Locksbrook Inn every Tueday evening reducing the level of rubbish along the river towpath to improve conditions for all users of the path, and for wildlife along the banks. For more information, or to register for a litter pick please visit

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.

Most prominent invasive species in the River Avon include (detailed ID sheets available from:

• 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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