Chalk Stream Champions

Chalk Stream Champions

The Southern Co-operative volunteering day

The Watercress and Winterbournes scheme has big plans for protecting our chalk streams, but we need the help of passionate volunteers to make them a reality. If you live in or near our scheme area, becoming a Chalk Stream Champion is a great way to support our work, gain new skills, and meet likeminded nature lovers.

The time commitment is flexible, and you can try different roles to find the best fit. Most need no existing expertise, and you'll receive training to help you get the most from your time with us. However you participate, you'll have the support of the scheme team, the partners, and a welcoming volunteer community.

Many of our Chalk Stream Champions also join their local Community Catchment Groups, which play a key part in nature conservation on their patches. However, while you might work closely with your nearest group on certain activities, you don't have to be a group member to volunteer on the scheme.

How to apply

Watercress and Winterbournes is in its early stages and some activities have been affected by Covid-19. As a result there might be a short wait before you can get stuck in, but we'd still love to hear from you - in the meantime we'll get you set up and begin your training.

Start by exploring the role descriptions below, then complete our short expression of interest form. A member of the scheme team will then arrange a chat to provide more detail on getting involved. If you have any concerns please get in touch and we'll be happy to help.

Express your interest

Email the team

About the scheme

Restore habitats and access

Use nature-based solutions to improve the diversity and quality of chalk stream habitats. Replace structures that stop some people from accessing the streams, so communities can enjoy them more fully.

Restore built heritage structures

Return the physical remains of chalk stream history to their former glory. Use specialist restoration techniques to bring heritage structures back into stable or useable condition.

Tackle invasive non-native species

Address the plants and animals that are threatening our native wildlife. Monitor the populations of certain species or directly remove them from chalk stream habitats.

Survey habitats and wildlife

Monitor water quality in our chalk streams by surveying some of their key species. Look for signs along the banks or take samples from within the streams themselves.

Deliver engaging events

Enthuse and inform others at talks, fairs, exhibitions, guided walks, and other public events. Take the lead or support others, representing the scheme and ensuring things run smoothly.

Run talks, walks, or workshops

Inspire others by sharing knowledge, passion, or practical skills relating to our chalk streams. Bring your area of interest to life, working independently or with support.

Spark community action

Mobilise people, groups, and businesses to care for their chalk streams. Engage them on key issues, provide information, and boost participation in local behaviour change challenges.

Deliver education sessions

Help to deliver engaging sessions for local schools, youth groups, and uniformed groups. Make nature accessible at both indoor settings and nearby chalk streams.

Collect community stories

Enable community members to share their interactions with our chalk streams. Identify people with stories to tell and help them to record their experiences for future generations.

Inspire creative action

Celebrate the creative heritage of our chalk streams and encourage others to expand on the tradition. Support competitions, festivals, and exhibitions focusing on photography, literature, and more.

Communicate our progress

Capture the work of the scheme and help to share it with others. Photograph wildlife, blog about key topics, film restoration works, interview volunteers, or uncover other opportunities.

Go wild at work

Act as an ambassador for our chalk streams in your working life. Motivate your colleagues to take action, making meaningful and lasting change in your workplace.

Help in a different way

Want to support the scheme in a way not listed here? Let us know and we'll get in touch to discuss teaming up.

Express your interest