Bearwater Community River Days Project

This project is underway, with huge local volunteering participation.  We are involving and engaging the community with their river  - the River Dun as it flows through Bearwater, a retirement complex in Hungerford. 
We are teaching volunteers river restoration skills whilst reinstating a more natural and sinuous river corridor that will prevent further riverbank erosion and improve the river for many native species of wildlife. The margins are being planted up with plants that will not only attract pollinating insects, they will also be attractive to users of the footpath.
So far we've run 5 all day restoration tasks and gained lots of new volunteers, we've even got some of the Bearwater residents and staff into the river! Those retired residents unable to be in the river have worked on land sorting and watering plants, directing deliveries and a  team of  ladies have been keeping the volunteers happy by baking cakes and making teas and coffees.
Residents also held a coffee morning to raise funds for this project, helping us to get closer to covering all the costs of this project. 
The main funder for this project is Thames Water Rivers & Wetlands Community Day, with additional funding support from Co-op, Hungerford.
We are monitoring the health of this stretch of river with regular water quality testing by the Bearwater manager, a resident and the gardener, we've also trained up two local residents (including the local postman) to carry out riverfly monitoring; and we have water vole surveyed too. Sadly there were no water voles present and the river score has been quite poor, both of these issues we hope to see improve as the new river habitat matures.