Wear Rivers Trust

Pollution Incident Hotline: 0800 80 70 60


An image of WRT Volunteer and Engagement Officer, Jade Harley, wrapped up in winter clothing on rough grassland with rolling hills in the background.

Volunteering and Engagement Officer  

Meet Jade Harley, Wear Rivers Trust’s new Volunteering and Engagement Officer. An all-round people person, Jade brings a wealth of experience from within the environmental sector and beyond. She has quickly progressed from Project Support Officer, to her new role, where she will be able to put her skills and passions to best use. 

Jade has lots of exciting plans for the future of volunteering with WRT, which you can read more about below. 

 Change is Coming

Here at the Wear Rivers Trust we are striving to improve our volunteering provision. We strongly believe that good conservation and environmental management can only take place with local communities on board. We also pride ourselves in supporting and nurturing the next generation of environmental managers. Over the autumn and winter of 2023, our volunteering team will be rolling out a brand new volunteering platform, which will streamline our approach and make events and opportunities easier to join. The platform is already well-used within our region, with key partners such as Durham Wildlife Trust and Durham University already involved. This will allow us to engage in a joined-up, community approach to conserving the waterways of the Wear Catchment. If you’d like to be involved in trialling the new platform, please email Jade Harley at volunteering@wear-rivers-trust.org.uk 

Volunteering Opportunities

Tree planting

We work with landowners across the Wear Catchment to plant trees in riparian environments. This has multiple benefits including increasing biodiversity, stabilising banks, decreasing flood risk, and improving habitat for spawning fish.

Look out for opportunities during the winter months, from November - March.

Balsam Bashing

We are working to manage invasive species across the Wear Catchment. A key species volunteers can help with is Himalayan Balsam. Throughout the spring and summer months, you can join us on Balsam Bashes from Weardale to the lower reaches of the Wear and its tributaries. You can also help us to better understand Himalayan Balsam distribution by carrying out walkover surveys.

Look out for opportunities from May - August

Electro fishing

Electro fishing allows us to understand fish populations across our catchment. This is especially important close to fish barriers, such as weirs and culverts. This informs us where our work can have the biggest impacts.

Look out for opportunities from July - October.

Natural Flood Management

We use natural processes to limit flood risk and safeguard communities. Our techniques include leaky dams, wetland creation, tree planting, and scrapes. These options increase the storage capacity of riparian land, helping to slow the flow whilst also creating valuable habitats that enhance biodiversity and capture carbon.

Look out for opportunities year round.