We work with water companies on behaviour change campaigns to encourage people to reduce their water consumption and to teach them what they should and shouldn’t put down their drains. We also run citizen science projects, through which volunteers can keep an eye on their local stream or river.

Jenni Mills, Inclusion Manager at The Meads Primary School in Luton, has been taking part in Junior River Wardens, our River Lea monitoring project for children.

“I was interested in Junior River Wardens because it meant we could get the children outside, doing something local to school that linked to science, maths and literacy. The children were excited about it because it is a real-life project – submitting the data to the Luton Lea Catchment Partnership website makes it feel purposeful.

“Junior River Wardens is great because it’s flexible enough to suit a range of abilities. We chose the children we thought would benefit most (a mixture of SEN pupils  those receiving pupil premium funding). They had varying needs so we paired them up to help each other.

“Groundwork’s Project Officer Rosie led our first visit to the river. She ran the activities and showed me what to do for the second visit, when we’d do it without her. We sampled the water and recorded the pH, turbidity, and oxygen levels. We also looked for animals, recorded information about the weather, and noted the flow rate and the width of the brook.

“Back in school, we made a display with photos from our field trip and the results of our sampling, explaining what the children did.

Junior River Wardens has really helped with the children’s communication skills. They’re more able to listen to others and follow instructions, and it’s boosted their confidence. After our visit to the river, they all wanted to tell other people about where they’d been and what they’d done because they’d enjoyed it so much. All of them had a wonderful time.”