RiverSearch Volunteer

RiverSearch Volunteer

Location: River Stour, Sandwich
Volunteer remotely

River Eden, photo by Chloe Sadler

Become a RiverSearcher to carry out vital monitoring on the River Stour catchment.

Position details




Any Day



Contact details

Please contact Alana Skilbeck I Wilder Kent Volunteer Officer I alana.skilbeck@kentwildlife.org.uk 

01622 662012 | volunteering@kentwildlife.org.uk | 

The H2O:Source2Sea project aims to demonstrate how nature-based solutions can reduce water management costs, improve freshwater quality, reduce the impact of flooding and drought and benefit wildlife. The project is working with the local community, landowners and businesses to implement a range of solutions including wetland creation, leaky dams and woodland planting.

The H2O:Source2Sea project is seeking volunteers to take part in a new RiverSearch Citizen Science project to monitor the health of our freshwater ecosystems. Volunteers will collect invaluable information about river health by adopting a stretch of river and collecting data on water quality, habitat condition and pollution sources.

Under the guidance of Surrey Wildlife Trust RiverSearch was piloted on the River Eden in 2013 and has been adapted for the Stour catchment and beyond.

Why do we need you?
Rivers are incredibly diverse habitats supporting a wide range of wildlife and they are currently under immense pressure. The results will be made freely available and be regularly reported to the catchment partnership group so we can plan effective restoration works.

What does this role involve?
We need RiverSearchers to monitor various aspects of the health of our freshwater habitats. You will select a monitoring point, or 500m stretch of waterway which will be your section to monitor throughout the project. The three aspects of health that will be monitored are:

  • Water quality – we will provide you with water quality testing kits which will be done on a monthly basis.
  • Habitat condition – Assessment of the habitat quality once a year.
  • Pollution – any ad hoc pollution you see whilst out on your surveys.

Where is the role based?
River Stour catchment area

Experience, knowledge and skills needed for this role

  • No prior knowledge of river ecology is needed to become a RiverSearcher.
  • You will have a interest in wildlife and river ecology.
  • You will need to be comfortable conducting surveys alone.
  • You should be happy to work outdoors.

You will need to be able to access your monitoring point using your own mode of transport. This could be walking distance from your home or an area that you enjoy visiting in your local area. Access to your own vehicle will be advantageous.

When would we like you to be available?
This volunteering role is flexible and can be carried out in fair weather in your own time. Below are the three aspects of health that will be monitored and how of the they need to be conducted:

  • Water quality tests once a month.
  • Habitat condition assessments once a year.
  • Pollution reporting ad-hoc.

Benefits and training opportunities

  • You’ll get to spend time along beautiful stretches of rivers.
  • You will be given full training on all the monitoring methods and supported to carry out the surveys by the Wilder Kent Volunteer Officer. Training will be via workshops, where you will be able to meet other Riversearch volunteers, and 2 social events a year will be available for volunteers.
  • All travel expenses will be covered.