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In April, Mersey Rivers Trust hosted two Free Pie & Pint farm engagement events. These events were hosted by Mersey Rivers Farm Advisors with funding received from both the Better Rivers Better North West Fund and the Upper Weaver Water-Friendly Farming project funded by DEFRA and United Utilities. These two events were aimed at farmers in both the River Duckow, Darley, and Ash Brook Catchments to inform on water-friendly farming practices and other management practices and schemes which are beneficial to both business and the environment.

In addition to the delightful pies and pints which were enjoyed by all those who attended. Mersey Rivers Trust Farm Advisors spoke on water-friendly farming. This talk included ways in which farmers could get involved via free water management plans and the possibility of small amounts of funding to carry out water-friendly farming interventions. The importance of invasive non-native species control and methods to do so were highlighted to farmers in the Darley and Ash Brook catchments. Also, during the Duckow catchment event the upcoming work to remove a disused gas house weir and the potential effects of the removal was discussed.

During these events guest speakers from Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC) and Soil Sense shared insights into other farming subjects. CWAC discussed Biodiversity Net Gain and local nature recovery strategy plans for the area that are currently out for consultation, emphasizing how aligning with agri-environment schemes can benefit farmers. Soil Sense discussed how to manage nutrients in soil so as to optimise land use, benefitting crop yields and livestock. How soil testing is vitally important and the part different methods of soil aeration, shattering and sward lifting have to play in land management regimes.              

The evening was a great success and across both events just over 35 farmers attended. Feedback was positive with all farmers saying they would recommend this type of event to others.

Mersey Rivers Trust will continue to host these types of events throughout this year and next year, and if you would like to know more about what we do, and what grants and workshops are available to farmers please email us here to be added on to the Farm Newsletter mailing list.  You can read the latest newsletter here.

You can access the presentations from Mersey Rivers Trust, Darley and Ashbrook Presentation and River Duckow Presentation and there is more information available on Mersey Rivers Water Friendly Farming Hub here.

Big River Watch Survey Returns This Bank Holiday Weekend: 3-6 May

On your marks... Less than 48 hours until the return of the national #BigRiverWatch!

Help your local river by heading outside to gather data this Bank Holiday weekend...

1️⃣ Download the free survey app

2️⃣ From Friday, take a stroll along your nearby river

3️⃣ Fill out the quick survey, tell us what you see

👉 The Big River Watch | The Rivers Trust

 

Come along to our local #BigRiverWatch events:

📍Sat 4 May Reddish Vale, River Tame 10am-2pm

📍Sun 5 May Macon Meadows, Valley Brook, Crewe 10am-1pm

Young Blue Influencers Leading Environmental Change Across Greater Manchester:

Mersey Rivers Trust supporting a new initiative for young people funded by the Ernest Cook Trust and #iwill Fund

An ambitious initiative to improve the local river (“blue”) environment will be propelled by young people in Greater Manchester and Merseyside. The “Blue Influencers Scheme” will provide mentoring and funding for locals, aged 10 to 14, to become “Blue Influencers”.

The Mersey Rivers Trust is celebrating its selection as one of 22 charities to receive significant funding through this initiative, which aims to ignite a wave of youth-led environmental projects across the region. This includes the appointment of a Blue Mentor tasked with recruiting and supporting passionate young people to drive change in their community and local environment.

Ed Ikin, Chief Executive of The Ernest Cook Trust, said:

“Young people are often the most passionate about the environment and are very aware of the issues we face with climate change. The Blue Influencers Scheme will give them the funding, platform and tools they need to make positive changes to benefit their entire community.

“We were pleased to select the Mersey Rivers Trust to join the Blue Influencers Scheme and are excited to see just what the young people come up with.”

The national £2.25 million, three-year Blue Influencers Scheme, launched and match-funded by The Ernest Cook Trust in partnership with the #iwill Fund, focuses on empowering young people in coastal, estuary, and riverside areas to address environmental and climate challenges. Its ambition is to engage more than 4,000 young people as Blue Influencers, as well as over 15,000 community members across England.

The initiative builds on the success of the Green Influencers Scheme, shifting its focus to water-based environments while also aiming to enhance young people's personal, social and employability skills.

Luke Swann from the Mersey Rivers Trust spoke of the scheme's importance:

"Allowing young people to protect the environment on their own terms is essential. Being less conditioned by our unsustainable past and benefitting more from a sustainable future, they are best suited to drive change today. I can't wait to see the impact they will have once their environmental ideas and ambitions come into fruition."

If you work with young people aged 10 – 14 in Greater Manchester and would be interested in getting involved in this project, please get in touch with Luke Swann, Blue Mentor and Project Manager at Mersey Rivers Trust:

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.    Phone: 07923 359 566

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On April 24th, to celebrate the 1st birthday of the Bentley Environmental Foundation, volunteers from Bentley and members of Mersey Rivers Trust and The Rivers Trust, united to conduct a litter pick along Valley Brook, a river in Crewe, Cheshire.

Over a mere 0.5-mile stretch, the team collected 25 bags of rubbish, including a discarded trolley retrieved from the river.

This litter pick represents just one of many events facilitated by the Bentley Environmental Foundation project in collaboration with Mersey Rivers Trust and the Rivers Trust.

Justine Lord, Project Manager from Mersey Rivers Trust, said,” The litter pick with Bentley was a great success. We had 12 members of staff come down to the litter pick. Everyone was getting stuck in, it was lovely to see the team working together to help clean up our rivers! Keep your eyes peeled for information on future events in Crewe with Mersey Rivers Trust and Bentley.”

We are looking to recruit a Project Assistant to support our NFM Programme Manager to develop MRT’s new Alt Catchment NFM Project, and assist MRT Project Managers to deliver ongoing projects. This is a great opportunity to gain valuable experience working in the environmental sector. No project management or surveying experience is required as all necessary training will be provided. Tasks will include hydrological and water quality monitoring of Natural Flood Management (NFM) measures; monitoring peat water levels; engaging with farmers and other stakeholders; assisting with ecology surveys including Water Voles, Bats and Birds; and helping to run community engagement events.

The role is initially offered until October 2024, but with the hope of extension (dependent on successful bid submission and funding)

Full job description and details of how to apply below...

 

Project Assistant

Merseyside

   £23,400 pa

Paid • Full Time • Fixed Term Contract

Closing date: Wednesday, 1st May 2024  


Job title: Project Assistant
Location: Merseyside
Salary: £23,400 per year (plus £20/month phone allowance)
Closes: Wednesday 1st May 2024
Position: Project Assistant
Hours: Full Time, 37.5 hours per week. Flexibility required (some evening & weekend work)

Background

The Mersey Rivers Trust (MRT) is an environmental charity focussing on the protection and enhancement of rivers and waterbodies in the Mersey Catchment. It operates in an area covering Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire. The Trust works with partners, local communities and volunteers to deliver a wide range of projects including river restoration, reduction of flood risk by Natural Flood Management techniques, river monitoring, volunteer events (eg river clean-ups/invasive species control and citizen science), community engagement and education events, farm advice/plans and biodiversity net gain.

This is a great opportunity to gain valuable experience working in the environmental sector.

The successful candidate will support our NFM Programme Manager to develop MRT’s new Alt Catchment NFM Project, and assist MRT Project Managers to deliver ongoing projects.

The role is initially offered until October 2024, but with the hope of extension (dependent on successful bid submission and funding).

Main duties

  • Assist the NFM Programme Manager with the monitoring requirements of the Alt Catchment NFM programme e.g. water quality analysis, river MoRPh surveys, collection of water flow and depth data etc – average of 2 days per week but likely to be more some weeks than others.
  • Assist the Merseyside Project Managers in their day-to-day tasks – average of 3 days per week 
    • Peat project – sampling of peat water levels (training provided), engagement with farmers
    • Species survival project – assist with ecology surveys
    • Alt Meadows – assist with Water Vole survey and electrofishing
    • NFM projects – assist with walkovers, community engagement work etc.
  • Assist other MRT Project Managers if required, and when workload allows

Key skills/experience:

  • Scientific background preferable
  • An interest in the environment and/or ecology
  • Ability to engage with stakeholders, including farmers and the wider community
  • Have a full driving licence and access to a car insured for business purposes
  • Self-motivated and able to work effectively from home
  • Ability to work flexibly, including some early mornings, some evenings and some weekends/bank holidays – ecology surveys will be at unsociable hours
  • Ideally Merseyside-based to reduce mileage and therefore carbon footprint

Please note that whilst beneficial, no project management or surveying experience is required – as all necessary training will be provided.

To apply: 

If you wish to apply, please send a CV (no more than two sides of A4) and covering letter (no more than two sides of A4), outlining how you meet the requirements of the person specification and job description and why you want to work for the Trust. Please email your application to the Merseyside Senior Project Manager, Andy Martin (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Applications must be received by email no later than the end of Wednesday 1st May 2024.

Interviews will be held in early May either via Zoom or face-to-face depending on circumstances.

If you would like more information about the role before submitting an application, you may contact Andy Martin 07786992444 (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Rebecca Howard 07811207893 (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

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