Get involved! Volunteer with us…

As the saying goes, “Many hands make light work!”

The five-year LIFE R4ever Kent project is a mammoth undertaking, as we aim to move the River Kent Special Area of Conservation towards Favourable Condition by using a range of river and riparian restoration techniques, controlling invasive alien species and increasing the number and range of the most vulnerable species in the River Kent.

Our work is often very hands-on, and this is where you can help us out! From tree planting to removing invasive Himalayan Balsam from riverbanks, to mussel tagging and electrofishing, there are plenty of ways in which you can get involved and lend a helping hand.

What’s more, coming along to our volunteer events is not only a fun day out with family and friends, it’s also a great way to meet and connect with like-minded people, learn about the natural environment and get hands-on with conservation work. We even hold annual ‘Thank you’ events where all our volunteers come together to celebrate our achievements!

As you’ll be working in the outdoors, our volunteer opportunities are seasonal and often weather dependent, meaning events may sometimes be cancelled at short notice due to bad weather – we can’t go electrofishing during heavy rainfall, for example.

What’s on

Below is a list of the activities that run at certain times of the year that you can get involved with.

Signing up to our newsletters, following us on social media and keeping an eye on our Events page is the best way to keep up to date with the latest updates.

If you would like to register your interest for any of the opportunities below, please email us at: [email protected]

Nearer the time, we will arrange specific days for these events. They are standalone days and no prior training is necessary to take part.

January, February, March
Tree planting season
Get out and about around the River Kent Catchment and get planting some trees!

July, August
Balsam Bashing
Get hands-on with tackling Himalayan Balsam by chopping it down with a scythe and/or uprooting this unwelcome invasive non-native plant.

July, August, September
Electrofishing and practical river restoration work
From surveying fish populations to building fish refuges or leaky dams, this can be very varied, depending on project requirements.

November, December
Back to that time of year, it’s tree planting season
Get out and about around the River Kent Catchment and get planting some trees!

Year-round volunteer opportunities
We also have year-round opportunities working with freshwater pearl mussels at our Species Recovery Centre. However, as training is required to be able to carry out this work, you would need to be able to commit on a regular basis.

We are currently recruiting volunteers who can commit for either one day per week for a whole year, or three days per week for three months.

If you are interested in applying, please email us explaining why you think you would be a suitable candidate. Tasks of the role are likely to include:

  • General site maintenance tasks to help with smooth operation of the freshwater pearl mussel breeding work.
  • Maintenance of a number of rearing systems housing juvenile mussels of different ages/sizes.
  • Collection and release of mussel broodstock from the wild (under licence and supervision).
  • Mussel tagging (seasonal task).
  • River surveys (seasonal task).

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