How You Can Help

There are loads of ways you can help your local river or the wider river network in general. We have created this resource to give you some ideas!


Reduce Water Usage

• Take shorter showers – the average shower takes about 8 minutes using lots of water and electricity.
•  Switch to a water conserving shower head
• Turn the tap of when your brush your teeth.
• Invest in a dual flush toilet or you can ask your water company for a ‘Save a Flush’ bag. 
• Keep a jug of cold water in the fridge instead of letting your tap run until it’s cold especially when it is really hot outside. 
• Only put the dishwasher/washing machine on when it’s a full load. 
• Make sure your taps and pipes don’t have any drips or leaks.


Get Involved

• Join your local nature group or volunteer with your local rivers trust many places also have plastic free groups.
• Join a citizen science group 
• Write to your local MP about pollution or any other issues effecting your local river.
• Start a conversation about water usage and pollution, this could be at your local small business or around a family dinner, bringing up this topic is an amazing first step.
• Donate to charities that are carrying out impactful work.


Learn About Your Local Rivers

• Take note of changes in plant growth and wildlife sightings at your local river.
• Keep an eye on the water quality. 
• Notice how the water levels change throughout the year.
• Report any incidents to the EA photographic evidence here
• When you are out and about looking at rivers remember that nature is messy so expect a few fallen trees in rivers and some rougher marginal vegetation. It all provides an amazing habitat!

Reduce Water Pollution

• Restrict your dog’s access to the river for 48 hours after flee treatment, it can wash off and kill the invertebrates in the river. Read the instructions on your specific treatment.

• Join a litter pick and always take your rubbish home with you.

• Be concious about the cleaning products you use - make sure they don’t contain phosphate which can cause algae blooms in the rivers.

• Only flush the 3ps down the loo - pee, poo and paper as this reduces sewage blockages.

• If possible, buy organic products as pesticides haven’t been used.

• Use a microfiber bag such as a Guppyfriend when washing clothes so microfibers don’t end up in the river as they are to small to get caught in water treatment works, learn more about it here.

• Dispose of your waste properly, items such as paint can be toxic.

• Reduce your plastic consumption by using refillable bottles and choosing products not wrapped in plastic.

• Keep a jar by your stove to put waste oil and fat into instead of washing it down the sink, then when your jar is full you can throw it away 


Manage Your Garden

• If you are lucky enough to have a river or stream in your garden, here is a document produced by the trust outlining river bank management.

• Installing a water butt is a really good way to store water and use it when it is a bit drier instead of relying on your hose, it also stops all the water running of your house going straight into the drains keeping it in the … water cycle… for longer (find better word).

• If you don’t have space for a water but you can increase water holding capacity of soil buy adding organic material such as mulch.

• Swap paving for plants is a great way of adding permeable surfaces this allows the water to percolate down into the ground so should also reduce the amount of water on your land (if you don’t want plants in a certain area aka a driveway you could also add gravel).

• Plant the correct plant for your garden, if you live in a very dry area try avoid planting plants that like more water logged soils as that will require you watering them a lot.

• Don't plant invasive non-native species in your garden, learn more here.

• Letting your grasses grow a bit longer is a great way of protecting them during the summer, while it also promotes root growth allowing the water to percolate down a bit deeper

• Visit the RHS website to learn more about managing water in your garden