Junior River Wardens educates school pupils, youth and uniformed groups on the importance of maintaining the health of their local river and what they can do to preserve it. 

How does the project work?

Groundwork is approached by a locality in which its river has poor health and low wildlife numbers. Groundwork then engages groups of school pupils, youth and uniformed groups (e.g. Brownies and Scouts), to teach them the importance of their local river being healthy. They are also shown methods of how to conduct and record monitoring activities.


Why do we run the project?

In connecting the pupils with the river, it provides a citizen science project, giving real examples of the curriculum. The project demonstrates first-hand the important role that local people can play alongside local and national organisations in preserving the quality of our water systems.  It also gives them an understanding and appreciation of the river, which they will take into adult life.


Who can become a Junior River Warden?

The Junior River Wardens sessions are usually open to all pupils in Key Stages 2 – 4 (ages 7 to 16), but this can be discussed, and will be tailored to suit the age group. Teachers can also request a specific focus for their river trip based on the requirements of the curriculum.  Sessions usually last for half a day (either before or after lunch).


Your JRW package

You can expect the following:

  • An activity to complete in school before your session – to gauge existing knowledge
  • A health walk from your school to the river
  • Water quality testing and observations of river morphology and flow
  • A study of the animal life in the river
  • Observational drawing of the river site
  • A piece of illustrated writing to complete after the visit
Teacher training CPD

All teaching staff are also offered a free after hours CPD session at the river.  A great session for thinking about managing risk on field trips, how to use an outdoor learning space, how to run a field trip and the benefits to pupils of outdoor learning.


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