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Go wild with random acts of (river) kindness

Making space for kindness is something we can get behind every day, particularly if it concerns (river) kindness – be it through habits, memories and small, joyful improvements, small, collective steps, combined with government-level commitments to change can go a long way. If you’ve ever been wondering what it is that you can do to help, we’ve put together some river-friendly ideas – most are free and easy to implement – to help embrace river kindness in your everyday life.

Enjoy

One cannot live on bread alone. Rivers restore our well-being. You may want to consider this your science-backed nudge to go out and enjoy your river. With seven new circular walks on the Trent Valley Way, you’ll likely be treated to an increasingly zealous spring chorus.

Ditch the wet wipes

Wet wipes, sanitary towels and other non-flushables can find their way into our rivers via sewage overflows or misconnected pipes. In our rivers, especially plastic-based wipes, cause trouble as they break down into microplastics. Replace your wet wipes with reusable materials. If you’d like it even simplier- binning, rather than flushing truly is a random act of river kindness.

Dig a pond

Ponds are havens of biodiversity. If you have the space even a small pond can provide a source of drinking water for wildlife and attract some of our fast-declining Native species including amphibians and insects.

Cycle or walk

Not only does a cycle or walk give you more time to notice nature-you’re also helping our rivers by reducing the risk of nasties being flushed via road drainage. It turns out what’s good for you and the planet is also kind to our rivers!

Fight fatbergs

Cooking oil clogs up drainage and causes foul water to spill over into our rivers. Bin, rather than flush cooking oil and help reduce river pollution.

Install a filter into your washing machine

Each garment can release up to 1,900 microfibres in each wash which can end up into our rivers. Invest or reach more regularly for natural fibres or add a filter to your washing machine to reduce your impact.

Save water

According to the ‘State of our Rivers’, report we are abstracting 15,315 billion litres each day for public water supply. 68% comes from rivers and surface sources. Abstracting water and releasing it elsewhere has significant impacts on ecology and natural flows. Shorter showers, catching rainwater, or buying drought-resilient plants – all help reduce demand and can help restore the natural state of our rivers.

Spread the word

Why not strike up a random conversation about the river you love? Being kind to our rivers can be simple-share the love, let others know you care. It is quite likely that they will, too, and who knows – they might have a few hidden gems for you to enjoy – or tag us – we’re very happy to share your happy places!

Log river obstacles

Barriers – big or small – can make river sections inaccessible to some freshwater species. While we tend to focus on impressive migration journeys i.e. the Atlantic salmon leaping on weirs, smaller fish may struggle at less obvious barriers. Log barriers via theAMBER app to help build a solid database mapping barriers to fish migration. Such data is invaluable as it informs scientific research and helps set priorities for barrier removals.

Pick up some litter

Leave the place in a better condition than when you see saw it. River levels rise and fall. During high flow, chances are that riparian rubbish is picked up and now flows toward the sea.

Did you join us on random acts of kindness day – or any other day you’ve been kind to nature and your river? Share your stories by tagging us on social media. On Twitter, we’re @Trent_R_Trust. On Instagram and on Facebook we’re @trentriverstrust.

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