UK and Ireland: local community river groups
Last updated: 8 March 2013.
Want to get involved with a local river restoration project... support a national group working on water pollution issues... promote your local river protection group? This is the place to do it!
We think there are something like 150 or so community groups working to protect and conserve our rivers, lakes, ponds, and inland waters. Most of them are local community organizations dedicated to protecting, restoring, or celebrating their waterways; some of the national groups have wider environmental objectives, but also support local projects. We painstakingly compiled this list in 2001 from many different sources but, although we've updated it regularly ever since, there may still be quite a few out-of-date contacts on here—and quite a few missing groups too. We'd really appreciate your help in keeping this page up-to-date, so please tell us of any other groups you know about by posting a message on our Facebook page.
Can't find a group near you? Why not start your own campaign, group, or river project? Check out our beginner's guide: Adopting a river: How to get out get dirty, and make a difference.
Please be aware that this is not a list of our "members" or "supporters" (the UK Rivers Network does not have either members or supporters); this is simply a helpful directory we've compiled. Inclusion on this page does not imply that a group is linked in any way with or supports the aims of the UK Rivers Network, or vice versa.
Photo: River Itchen watermeadows near Winchester College.
Some of these groups are marked with green dots on the map below.
Map of UK local community river (and inland waters) groups
You can find your local group on our map or, if you prefer, by browsing through the list underneath. There are a few inconsistencies between the map and the list (which we'll get round to fixing eventually), but it's broadly the same information in both places. It's hard to fit so many points on a map the size of a computer screen so individual groups are positioned roughly in the right place rather than exactly.
Where a group has its own website, you'll be able to click the appropriate point on the map for more information.
Blue dots are small community groups run by volunteers and work to protect, restore, clean, or celebrate particular rivers, ponds, or other inland waters. Quite a few are registered charities and members of
The Rivers Trust. These groups always welcome new members and most are involved in practical conservation work.
Red dots show the county Wildlife Trust for each area. The Wildlife Trusts do lots of hands-on conservation work on rivers and wetlands (and much more besides) and also organize river walks, talks, and other events worth looking out for. The Trusts operate across large areas (sometimes two or even three counties), not just the places indicated by the red markers (which simply show each Trust's HQ). Some Trusts have active local branches you can join and it's a great idea to become a supporter or friend of your local trust to help fund its work.
Green dots show other groups of interest (mainly national groups working on rivers, ponds, pollution, and related issues). They tend to be more active on policy and campaigning, with less of an emphasis on hands-on, front-line conservation work.
List of local community river groups
Most of these groups are marked with blue dots on the map.
England: East Anglia
- Cambridgeshire Fens Preservation Society, Cambridge.
- Ivel and Ouse Countryside Project, Biggleswade, Bedfordshire.
- Norfolk Anglers Conservation Association, Norwich, Norfolk.
- Norfolk Rivers Trust.
- River Burn North Creake Amenities Society, Fakenham, Norfolk.
- Rivercare Project, Norwich. Covers approximately 30 projects across East Anglia.
- River Stour Trust , Sudbury, Suffolk.
Roman River Valley Society, Colchester, Essex. (Not currently active.)
- River Glaven Conservation Group, Norfolk.
Tidy Britain Group (East Of England), Norwich, Norfolk. (Now Encams/Keep Britain Tidy?)
- Cam Valley Forum works to protect and improve the environment of the river Cam and its tributaries in Cambridgeshire.
- Calver Weir Restoration Project, River Derwent, Derbyshire.
- Friends of Radley Lakes, Oxfordshire.
- Montgomery Waterway Restoration Trust, Shrewsbury, Shropshire.
- River Cole And Chinn Brook Conservation Group, Birmingham.
- River Erewash Foundation, Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire border.
- River Wye Preservation Trust, Herefordshire.
- Ruscombe Brook Action Group, Stroud, Gloucestershire.
- Severn Rivers Trust, River Severn catchment in Shropshire/Worcestershire/Oxfordshire/Warwickshire/West Midlands and Wales.
- Trent Rivers Trust, based in Nottingham
- Upper Colne Support Group, Cirencester, Gloucestershire.
- Upper Thames Protection Society, Fairford, Gloucestershire.
- Welland Rivers Trust: Looking after the River Welland in Leicestershire, Rutland, Northamptonshire and Lincolnshire.
England: North East
- Calder Future, Calderdale, West Yorkshire.
- Clean Tyne Project, Covering the Tyne in Gateshead, Newcastle, South Tyneside and North Tyneside.
River Colne Project, Huddersfield, Yorkshire. [Website long inactive]
- East Yorkshire Chalk Rivers Trust, Driffield, Yorkshire.
Eye on the Aire, Leeds. [We think this became inactive in the early 2000s?]
- Aire Rivers Trust (A new group formed in 2011.)
- River Swale Preservation Society, Middlesborough, Cleveland.
- Wear Rivers Trust, County Durham. [Merger of the River Wear Environmental Trust and The Weardale Environmental Trust.]
- Save The Ouse System (Protection Society), Leeds.
- Tyne Rivers Trust, Northumberland.
- Ure Salmon Trust, Harrogate.
- Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust: Covers rivers of the Yorkshire dales, including the Swale, Ure, Nidd, and Wharfe.
England: North West
- Eden Rivers Trust, Penrith.
- Lune Rivers Trust, Lancaster.
- Mersey Basin Campaign (Archived website of the campaign from 1985–2010).
Mersey Basin Trust, Oldham (apparently inactive).
- Mersey Valley Countryside Warden Service: "A joint countryside management project covering the river and surrounding land between the Manchester/ Stockport boundary and the Manchester Ship Canal in Irlam."
- Ribble Catchment Conservation Trust, Lancashire.
- South Cumbria Rivers Trust, Lancashire: "The main rivers in our area are the Kent, Leven, Bela, Crake and Duddon as well as the many smaller rivers. We also have some significant still waters in our area including Windermere, Coniston, Grasmere, Rydal, and Esthwaite."
- West Cumbria Rivers Trust, Lake District area.
England: South East
- Action for the River Kennet, Wiltshire/Berkshire.
- Avon & Stour Fishery Association, Ringwood, Hampshire.
- Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership, Aldershot, Hampshire.
Bourne Stream Partnership, Bournemouth, Dorset. (Project completed in 2007, but still has a useful website).
- Brent River And Canal Society, London.
- Chiltern Society Rivers And Wetlands Conservation Group, Bucks.
- Colne Valley Partnership, Middlesex.
- Darenth River Preservation Society, Sevenoaks, Kent.
- Fleet Pond Society, Fleet, Hampshire.
- Friends Of The Upper Colne, St Albans, Herts.
- Itchen Hamble Countryside Project, Hampshire.
- Itchen Navigation Heritage Trail Project, Hampshire. (Hampshire & IOW Wildlife Trust project)
- Kentish Stour Countryside Project, Ashford, Kent.
- Longford Against Pollution, Biggleswade, Beds.
Lea Rivers Trust, London. (Closed in 2008, but web archive still retains their old website).
- Medway River Users Association, Kent.
- North Wey (Hants) Preservation Society, Alton, Hampshire.
- Ouse & Adur Rivers Trust (OART), Sussex. Formed following the merger of the Sussex Ouse Conservation Society (SOCS) and the River Adur Conservation Society (RACS).
- Quaggy Waterways Action Group, South East, London.
Residents Against Dibden Bay Port (RADBP), Southampton, Hampshire. (Closed after campaign victory, but we understand that the campaign group still meets)
- River Beane Preservation Society, Stevenage, Herts.
- River Chess Preservation Society, Rickmansworth, Herts.
- River Ember Clean Up Group, East Molesey, Surrey.
- River Mole Preservation Association, Thames Ditton, Surrey.
- River Nailbourne Preservation Society, Canterbury, Kent.
- River Thames Society, London.
- River Thames User Groups, London.
- River Wey Trust, Liphook, Hampshire.
- Thames 21, London.
- Thames Anglers Conservancy, London/Southeast. (Staines to Dartford)
- Thames And Medway Canal Association, Gravesend, Kent.
- Thames Angling Preservation Society, Bexley, Kent.
- Thames Explorer Trust, London.
- Thames Rivers Restoration Trust, Newbury.
- The Wandle Trust, London.
- Waterway Champions, London. A London-wide scheme run by Thames 21.
- Wessex Chalk Stream and Rivers Trust, Hampshire.
- The West London River Group, London. Mainly concerned with planning and development issues on the stretch of Thames between Kew and Chelsea.
England: South West
- Bristol Rivers: Website covering a variety of community river groups in the Bristol area.
- Cornwall Rivers Project
- Friends of the Fowey Estuary
- Friends of the River Frome, Frome, Somerset.
- Helford River Association, Helford, Cornwall.
Living River, Salisbury, Wiltshire (River Avon catchment). Website now inactive.
- Malmesbury River Valleys Trust, Malmesbury, Wiltshire.
- Okement Rivers Improvement Group: Okehampton, Devon.
- River Allen Association, Bridport, Dorset.
- River Avon Protection Society, Paignton, Devon.
- River Camel Protection Society, Bodmin, Cornwall.
- River Creedy Protection Society, Exeter, Devon.
- River Piddle Protection Association, Dorchester, Dorset.
- River Tarrant Protection Society, Blandford, Dorset.
- River Taw Protection Society, South Molton, Devon.
- River Wey Preservation Society, Weymouth, Dorset.
River Wylye Preservation Society, Salisbury, Wiltshire. [Not thought to be active since at least 1990s.]
- River Yealm And District Association, Plymouth, Devon.
- River Yeo Protection Society, Barnstaple, Devon.
- Save the Avon, Salisbury, Wiltshire.
- Somerset Levels Campaign, Ilminster, Somerset.
- South Devon Rivers Riparian Owners (Protection Society), Ivybridge, Devon.
- South Wiltshire Agenda 21 Biodiversity Group, Salisbury, Wiltshire.
- St Mary Bourne Conservation Society, Andover, Hampshire.
- South West Rivers Association, Devon.
- Teigngrace Parish Council/Aqua, Newton Abbot, Devon. [Teigngrace river Teign/Bovey campaign]
- West Country Rivers Trust, Cornwall and Devon
- Clyde River Foundation, Glasgow: Promotes research and education involving the Clyde.
- Community of Arran Seabed Trust, Looking after the marine environment in the Firth of Clyde and the Isle of Arran's marine environment.
- Falkirk District Canals Society, Tayside, Scotland.
- Friends of the River Kelvin, Glasgow.
- Galloway Fisheries Trust, southwest Scotland.
- River Dee Catchment Partnership, Aberdeen, Scotland.
- River Dee Trust & Dee District Salmon Fishery Board, Aboyne, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.
Scotland Inland Waterways Association: Uncertain status. Ceased to be a charity in June 2012.
- Solway Firth Partnership
- Tweed Foundation
- Water of Leith Conservation Trust: concerned with Edinburgh's river and its future.
The Wildlife Trusts
The Wildlife Trusts are perhaps the best place to start if you want to find out about hands-on conservation in your local area. Generally, there's one trust covering each county (though some cover two or three neighbouring counties or larger areas). The Wildlife Trusts are marked with red dots on the map up above.
- Alderney Wildlife Trust
- Avon Wildlife Trust
- Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust
- Brecknock Wildlife Trust, Wales
- Cheshire Wildlife Trust
- Cornwall Wildlife Trust
- Cumbria Wildlife Trust
- Derbyshire Wildlife Trust
- Devon Wildlife Trust
- Dorset Wildlife Trust
- Durham Wildlife Trust
- Essex Wildlife Trust
- Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust
- Gwent Wildlife Trust, Wales
- Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust
- Herefordshire Nature Trust
- Hertfordshire and Middlesex Wildlife Trust
- Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust
- Kent Wildlife Trust
- Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust
- Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust
- London Wildlife Trust
- Manx Wildlife Trust (Treisht Beiyn-Feie Vannan), Isle of Man
- Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust, Wales
- Norfolk Wildlife Trust
- North Wales Wildlife Trust, Wales
- Northumberland Wildlife Trust
- Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust
- Radnorshire Wildlife Trust, Wales
- Scottish Wildlife Trust
- Shropshire Wildlife Trust
- Somerset Wildlife Trust
- Staffordshire Wildlife Trust
- Suffolk Wildlife Trust
- Surrey Wildlife Trust
- Sussex Wildlife Trust
- Tees Valley Wildlife Trust
- Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire and Peterborough
- Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country
- Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside
- Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales
- Ulster Wildlife Trust, Northern Ireland
- Warwickshire Wildlife Trust
- Wiltshire Wildlife Trust
- Worcestershire Wildlife Trust
- Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
Other community projects and groups
Other community-based groups are also helping the environment:
What can we learn from other river groups around the world? Take a look at some of the worldwide river groups on
the Rivers and Streams page of the
Open Directory Project.