RTCT March 2017 Newsletter

Welcome to our fifth 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 them and any photographs to Enquiries@RiverThame.org

Staffing Change

Natalie Breden started as the RTCT new Project Officer on the 27th February and after an intense but excellent two week handover, Emily left to move onto bigger and better things at The Environment Agency.

Natalie haNatalie and emilys a background in Wildlife Conservation from her BSc (of which she studied for at one of our local Universities, Oxford Brookes) and her MSc. After various voluntary roles with organisations such as the RSPB and Wildlife Trusts and working for numerous Ecological Consultancies, carrying out protected species surveys, Natalie got a job as Education Officer with The Conservation Volunteers. She loved passing on her passion for the environment and engaging the next generation in the natural world, but on the ground conservation work was calling her back. She is really looking forward to putting everything into the role and working with RTCT’s great volunteers and partners.

We wish Emily all the best in her new role, but we are looking forward to having her back as a volunteer and key supporter of the trust.

Spring has sprung!

Spring is really and truly is on its way along the Thame. Natalie and Emily took this lovely photo of daffodils last week and we would love to see your spring photo’s too – please send them to Enquiries@RiverThame.org

Over the next few months the Thame will really come to life with birds singing, blossom C6Vk8UqWMAESMsebursting out in every direction, Brimstone Butterflies (one of the first butterflies to take flight in spring) and don’t forget to look out for queen bees searching for new nest sites after their long hibernation.

This is great time of year for recording – especially for toad and frog spawn. Join in with The PondNet Spawn Survey run by The Freshwater Habitats Trust. This will give us a great indication of distribution across The Thame catchment and the UK as a whole.

Download a surveying form here:



We have lots of exciting events and new volunteering opportunities to get involved with over the next few months – make sure you keep an eye on our events page of the website, but here are a few dates for your diaries.

Training days:
The River Thame has very few species records and we are really trying to increase the data we have for The Thame Catchment, not only will this help make informed decisions with any future management and protection of sites but also understanding what species may need our help.

We are putting on a series of training days to train up potential recorders to help us gain the invaluable data we so badly need. We are putting on the following training:

Amphibian surveying training – Saturday 15th April

Water Shrew surveying training – Friday 21st April

Riverfly surveying training – Saturday 6th May

Otter surveying – Tuesday 23rd May

Wetland Bird surveying – date to be arranged for AutumWP_20161007_12_18_31_Pron


Habitat improvement days:

Throughout the summer months we will also be running numerous habitat improvement days throughout the catchment. Please see current dates below:

Litter picking in Aylesbury – Saturday 13th May & Wednesday 21st June 10.00am – 2pm

Himalayan Balsam Bashing in Aylesbury – Wednesday 31st May, Wednesday 7th June, Wednesday 14th June & Saturday 24th June 10.30am – 3pm

Himalayan Balsam Bashing on the Chalgrove Brook – Thursday 1st June & Saturday 10th June 10.30am – 3pm

In channel habitat improvements on the Chalgrove Brook and in Aylesbury – Dates to be arranged for autumn

There are limited places on all these events so please book your place. To book please email Enquiries@RiverThame.org

Camera Traps for some lucky Aylesbury volunteers

We have a great opportunity for 7 lucky Aylesbury volunteers to record the wildlife of The River Thame. As part of a project funded by Tesco we have bought motion sensor cameras and underwater cameras to see the hidden life of the wildlife in our catchment.

If you live in Aylesbury and you are interested in manning your own camera then please contact Enquiries@RiverThame.org. There are limited cameras available so they will be distributed on a first come first serve basis.