RTCT January 2017 Newsletter

Welcome to our fourth RTCT newsletter. We always love to update people on what is happening around the catchment, and what better way to fill people in than with a monthly newsletter. We hope that you enjoy reading and welcome any suggestions for next month, just send an email to Emily Godfrey: emily@riverthame.org

 

Happy New Year!

P1180218Everyone at RTCT would like to wish you a very happy new year! The new year has given us the opportunity to look back on the last year at everything that we have achieved together. Last year was an excellent year and the Trust was able to progress in some really exciting ways. Some of our highlights are below:

  • For the first time, RTCT had two paid employees allowing a strategic focus as well as having a project officer to deliver the on the ground works.
  • Successful funding bids brought in money for community work in Aylesbury and in the Chalgrove Brooks area (which will be taken forward in 2017).
  • Funding from the Environment Agency allowed us to begin working with livestock farmers across he catchment and start to design remedial works.
  • Numbers of volunteers went from 30 to almost 120! We held 8 volunteer events, including training courses and guided walks, to help our volunteers learn more about the catchment and the wildlife that depends on it.
  • Our brand new website was launched and our number of Twitter followers increased by 300%.

Last year showed real progression and we are looking forward to building on that this year as the planning and liaison works translate into real changes on the ground; we are already set to hold a minimum of 22 different volunteer/ community based events, we expect to see at least 15 new habitat features appear on our rivers and streams and have already planned works to reduce livestock impact with 5 landowners, set to double over the next few moths.

We have hit the ground running this year by entering new funding bids and putting forwards project proposals to be progressed at the end of 2017; everyone at RTCT is looking forward to continuing this dedication to the River Thame and its catchment. If you or anyone that you know might be keen in helping us to take forward our vision then please get in touch!

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Volunteer Survey

We are still in need of responses!

We want all of our volunteers to be involved in the projects that will interest them the most. We have developed a questionnaire that will help us target you with the best information. It takes no more than 5 minutes and you can find it here.

Change of Staff at RTCT

As of the 10th of March 2017, there will be a new project officer in post. Emily will be leaving the Trust to work with the Environment Agency in Wallingford. This won’t fully be goodbye though as Emily plans to stick around and help out with projects and volunteer in her free time. We will introduce our new project officer in our next newsletter!

Searching for Schools!

Are the ponds, streams and ditches in your neighbourhood good enough for wildlife?

Schools now have the unique chance to use quick kits to help students discover more about good water quality for wildlife through practical experience. Students can actively participant in current scientific research by gathering data on the levels two pollutants, nitrate and phosphate, in their local freshwater habitats.

Clean Water for Wildlife is part of the Freshwater Habitats Trust’s People, Ponds and Water project , if you know a school that would like to get involved then contact Hannah Worker: hworker@freshwaterhabitats.org.uk

WordItOut-word-cloud-1998484Catchment Questionnaire Success!

The Thame Catchment Partnership recently sent our a questionnaire to members of the public living in or using the Thame Catchment. We are delighted to say that we had 137 responses to the survey and gathered some incredibly useful information. The word cloud to the right highlights some of peoples favourite freshwater sites in the area, you might be able to spot some familiar names! We were very pleased to see some of our local nature reserves appear.

There were many other interesting results which we are currently writing into a report. Having feedback from the public in this way is so useful when we start to think about where we should be placing our efforts in the future. We will share a link to the full report in our next newsletter.