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We are recruiting ! River Conservation and Engagement Trainee (12 months)

Develop your skills and experience in river conservation work, river environmental education and community engagement activities, working indoors and outdoors

We are recruiting for a River Conservation and Engagement Trainee for a 12 month, full time paid placement part-funded by the "New to Nature" Programme - link: New to Nature - Groundwork

This is a unique opportunity to try something new, and to take a first step on a career path where you can make a real difference.           

The natural environment needs you!

Mersey Rivers Trust is a Real Living Wage employer and the hourly pay rate for this role is £10.90 per hour.

The role involves working on the different rivers of the Mersey and engaging with local communities across Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire. We will provide you with experience and training in the different elements of river conservation, environmental education and community engagement.  Please scroll down for more details about the role.

We’re particularly interested in receiving applications from young people (aged 18-25) who are from ethnically diverse backgrounds, who are living with a disability or are from low-income households.

Interested in applying?

You can apply for this placement role by following this link:

This is hosted by Groundwork UK who will check the suitability of all applicants, before passing the application on to us at Mersey Rivers Trust.  We will then shortlist applicants to come and visit us and have a chat about why they would like to work with us.  We will pay for your travel costs.

Please ensure you carefully select the Mersey Rivers Trust role from the drop-down list on the application website to ensure your details are passed to us.

If you have any questions about the application form, please contact Groundwork UK at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The closing date for applications is 12 NOON on 17 February 2023

If you would like to have a chat with us about the role, please just send us an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will get back in touch with you. 

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Want to know more? See below for further details about the role or download the file:  Download Role Details


Thank you for your interest in this New to Nature placement.

New to Nature is an exciting programme of paid work placements in nature-focused roles. Our Mersey Rivers Trust role is one of 70 roles that will be created across the UK to encourage young and diverse talent into the Natural Environment sector.

We'll pay a good wage from a placement that helps the environment, learn loads of skills to boost your CV and get access to a Youth Employment Coach to help you plan your future career. There’ll also be opportunities to learn about potential careers in the natural environment, and (should you wish to) connect with the other young people working in New to Nature roles across the country.

This is a unique opportunity to try something new, and to take a first step on a career path where you can make a real difference.                            The natural environment needs you!

We hope you will join us on this exciting journey!


Mersey Rivers Trust is an environmental charity working to improve river health for local people and wildlife across Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire.  We work with local communities, councils, the local water company (United Utilities), Environment Agency, other charities and landowners to improve the rivers of the Mersey, carrying out a wide range of activities:

  • Cleaning up rivers and carrying out works to improve river habitat, including with local volunteers
  • Environmental monitoring in rivers of wildlife and water quality
  • Education programmes with local schools and youth groups
  • Improving access to rivers and river banks for the public to enjoy
  • Carrying out works in and around rivers to create natural storage areas for flood water
  • Running local community engagement events to promote the local river
  • Working with local community groups to help them improve their local river

Want to find out more about what we do? Check out our website and visit Twitter @MerseyRivers

Benefits of working with us:

  • Holiday entitlement of 25 days per year
  • Pension (subject to completion of satisfactory probation period)
  • Training and support provided, both on the placement and formal training courses
  • £20 per month mobile phone allowance

Selection Process:

We will contact you to let you know whether you have been shortlisted for the selection process. If you are shortlisted, we will invite you to come and visit us for half a day during the period 22nd February to 7 March (depending on your availability) to see what we do and have a chat with key staff about why you would like to work with us.  Together with your application form, this will form the selection process.  We will pay for your travel costs.  

If you have any questions about our role or the selection process please contact John Sanders at Mersey Rivers Trust:

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  Phone: 07821 117 396

Placement Description:

Placement title:

River Conservation & Engagement Trainee


Mersey Rivers Trust

Contract type:

12 Months, Fixed term

Number of hours per week:

35 hours per week.  Will consider part time role as a reasonable adjustment.

Working pattern:

Monday to Friday, 7 hours per day is our normal working pattern. Some weekend working is required, with time off given during the week.

Hourly rate of pay

£10.90 per hour

Responsible to:

Project Manager


Office base in Salford plus outdoor working and community engagement work across Greater Manchester and parts of Cheshire and Merseyside

Accessible by public transport:

Generally accessible and we will help with transport where necesary. All travel costs will be covered.

Anticipated Start Date:

Monday 17th April 2023

 Role Description:

This role will help you develop skills and experience in river conservation work, environmental education and community engagement activities linked to rivers.  You will be involved in a mix of office work, outdoor site working and community working with our project teams across Greater Manchester and parts of Merseyside and Cheshire.  

You will carry out a range of different activities with our project team members, including:

  • Environmental monitoring of rivers
  • River conservation work including managing vegetation on river banks, repairing river banks, improving river channels
  • Creating natural flood storage areas using natural materials to create small woody dams and ponds
  • River access improvement work including clearing footpaths and creating information for walkers
  • Talking to school children in the classroom about rivers and wildlife, as well as helping school children take part in our outdoor River School activities
  • Talking to local people about our work and about rivers at local community events (indoors and outdoors)
  • Help to prepare and organise conservation volunteering events, including health and safety risk assessments
  • Help manage our river survey data using Apps and national IT tools

We will provide on-the-job training as part of a structured training plan to give you experience and confidence in carrying out the different elements of the river conversation project manager role.

Person Specification: 

  • Enthusiastic about the environment
  • An interest in rivers is highly desirable
  • Feel able to communicate with people of all different ages
  • Enjoys being part of a team
  • Willing to learn and apply new skills
  • Willing to work outdoors (all protective footwear and clothing is provided)
  • Some basic experience in using Microsoft Office tools, social media and the internet is desirable but training will be provided

Support and training opportunities:

This placement is part of a national programme - New to Nature - funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. This will include additional elements of training and personal development support provided by Groundwork UK and partners, as well as on the job training and support from Mersey Rivers Trust.

Each young person will complete an in-depth induction programme with input from The Prince's Trust, along with tailored advice and guidance from a Groundwork Youth Employment Coach at key points during the placement. This may include identifying skills and training opportunities or help with your CV and job search skills.

Mersey Rivers Trust will also be providing support for participants, including:

  • On the job training in river environmental monitoring skills
  • On the job training in river conservation methods
  • Training in the use of pesticides to control river weeds, including national qualifications
  • On the job training in environmental data management and analysis
  • On the job training in project management, volunteer management and health and safety management for river conservation activities
  • Career development mentoring and support
  • £500 contribution to training courses linked to your personal career development

All young people on the New to Nature programme, will be invited to participate in a learning Network. This will create opportunities to take part in different talks, workshops and discussions focused on the environment sector, hosted by Groundwork and our partners.




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