|Last month, the RRC 18th Annual Conference took place at the Hilton Brighton Metropole Hotel. With 321 delegates in attendance over the two days, this was the biggest conference so far. Presenters representing academia, consultancy and engineering came together to deliver their projects and experiences.|
Earlier this week we held a training course in Cookstown, Northern Ireland, for the Rivers Agency local area staff, entitled Introduction to Hydromorphology for River Management. 29 participants from engineering and design backgrounds attended the training event which aimed to identify the main hydromorphological features and processes of rivers.
On Wednesday of last week we ran the first RRC training course of 2017 – Introduction to hydromorphology for river restoration and NFM – in Wilmslow on the River Bollin. We were really pleased with the turnout – 33 attendees and four facilitators which made for plenty of interesting discussions and perspectives (though in a somewhat cosy space during the morning).
On 4th February 2017, Marc Naura and I ran a free river restoration training course for community members, volunteers and Catchment Partnership members on the Forkhill River in County Armagh, Northern Ireland.
On Tuesday two RRC staff members attended a Walkover Survey training event hosted by the Bedford Rural Communities Charity. A speaker from the Essex Wildlife Trust gave a presentation about River Wardens and encouraging volunteers to monitor and record changes in river environments. Currently, Essex Wildlife Trust has 150 volunteer River Wardens across 14 catchments covering 30% of Essex rivers. The commitment of these local residents and other interested volunteers has led to increased awareness in environmental health across the county.
Earlier this week, 3 representatives from the RRC carried out a site visit at the Floodplain Forest Nature Reserve near Old Wolverton in Milton Keynes to observe the changes since restoration works took place.
Thanks to the Parks Trust and all of the partners, approximately 50 hectares of the River Great Ouse floodplain has been altered to accommodate natural river flows, flooding and biodiversity. Multiple channels, lagoons and shallow pools cover the area allowing flora and fauna to thrive in natural habitats, with footpaths winding through the landscape.
Tuesday marked the day of the RRC Members’ Site Visit to the winners of the UK River Prize 2016 – the Rivers Derwent, Eden and Kent. The Cumbria River Restoration Strategy (CRRS) was awarded this prize due to the efficient partnership of multiple authorities in these catchments. The day consisted of visits to two locations which demonstrate the work carried out in the CRRS.
Last week Josh Robins and I travelled down south to take a look at the site visit locations for the 2017 Annual Conference. It was my first trip out of the office since starting with the RRC so I was excited to see some river restoration in action!
With an undergraduate degree in Geography, and having recently completed my Masters degree in River Environments and their Management, I have a strong interest in water science, environmental conservation and sustainability. I am excited to start working in the environmental industry, focusing especially on river systems, as these are essential habitats for biodiversity, ecology and recreation.