It's the start of the BigGive Green Match Funding Week today - and running to midday on 29 April.

Please help us continue our work with local communities in Greater Manchester, Merseyside & Cheshire to improve local rivers for people & wildlife.

Every £ donated is doubled: one donation, twice the impact!

Click here to go to our fundraising campaign page:

Big Give Green Week Donation Page

Your donation will help us run more community volunteer working parties to improve the local river environment, deliver more school visits to rivers and carry out more monitoring of the health of our local rivers.

Many thanks for your support !

The Mersey Rivers Trust team


#Plastic Free Mersey

Come and help us as a volunteer citizen scientist in Greater Manchester & Cheshire 

Plastic Free Mersey press release photo

Plastic litter has no place in our rivers !  Volunteer citizen scientists needed for the Rivers Irwell, Roch, Irk, Medlock, Tame, Goyt, Bollin, Weaver and Dane

The Plastic Free Mersey project is a flagship collaborative approach created to tackle plastic pollution across the Mersey River catchment.

We are training citizen science volunteers to carry out surveys of plastic litter in the Mersey Catchment.  We now need more volunteers to help us survey more rivers in Greater Manchester and Cheshire: Rivers Irwell, Roch, Irk, Medlock, Tame, Goyt, Bollin, Weaver and Dane

If you would like to get involved please email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Volunteering will involve surveys of a local river bank every month (1 to 2 hours). Full training provided.

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The #Plastic Free Mersey Project is a collaborative project led by Mersey Rivers Trust and Thames 21 (the local rivers trust for the River Thames)

The project brings together businesses in the plastics supply chain with others who are interested in protecting rivers, including local communities, local authorities, NGOs and academics.

Our goals

  1. Together with the community, cleaning the river and nearby blue-green space of plastic waste
  2. Deepening our understanding of the causes and impacts of plastic pollution
  3. Surveying the plastic waste to understand the types and quantities of plastic in the various rivers that make up the River Mersey catchment across Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire.

More information available here:



"Leaky dams" at Pott Shrigley in Cheshire have been working well during Storm Barra over the past couple of days, helping to slow down the flow of flood water in Harrop Brook and the River Dean. 


Leaky by name, leaky by nature, even during high flows, "leaky dams" are built in small streams from natural materials - they will only let a certain amount of water through, slowly draining the trapped water to reduce the flood peak.  They are part of Natural Flood Management measures being implemented by a range of public sector and third sector organisations across the Mersey catchment to help reduce flood risk.

Funded by the Environment Agency, Mersey Rivers Trust installed the leaky dams at Pott Shrigley in March 2021, working in partnership with local farmers and landowners. Monitoring by Mersey Rivers Trust staff today (9 December) has shown that these new leaky dams have been able to hold back water in the headwaters of Harrop Brook and slowing down the flow of water into the downstream River Dean. 

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Over the coming months, Mersey Rivers Trust will also be planting new trees at Pott Shrigley to complement the leaky dams.  Once established, the new trees will help take up water and allow more water to soak into the ground during flood conditions, further slowing the flow of water into the downstream river system.

We are recruiting for a Project Manager ! See below for details:


Job title: Project Manager 

Location: Cheshire/Greater Manchester

Salary: £20,000 - £21,500, dependent on experience + pension

Closes: 18 February 2022

Position: Project Manager

Hours: Full Time, 37.5 hours per week. Flexibility required (some evening & weekend work)

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 Operations Director of the Mersey Rivers Trust, Paul Henbrey (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 18 February 2022.

Interviews will be held in February/March 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 Paul Henbrey 07747 446103 (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or John Sanders 07821 117396 (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).



Mersey Rivers Trust is the principal environmental charity working to improve the quality of rivers across the Mersey Basin. As we continue to grow and succeed in attracting more grant-funded projects, we are now seeking an experienced project manager to lead different projects and engage people across the Mersey Basin.

Our projects range from river restoration and catchment management schemes (such as Natural Flood Management) through to public engagement and communications. Project values range from £20k to over £1m. 

The role requires strong project management skills combined with excellent communication skills with a wide range of stakeholders from funding bodies to local community groups and individual volunteers. The successful applicant will be able to effectively deliver projects as well as undertake communications and engagement activities.

Role Overview

The Mersey Rivers Trust (MRT) operates in the Mersey Basin catchment covering Greater Manchester, Merseyside and much of Cheshire. The Trust has expanded rapidly over the past three years and has been successful in securing funding to deliver a variety of environmental river-based improvement and engagement projects.

Our project portfolio continues to grow and we are now looking to recruit a competent, dynamic and enthusiastic person with experience in delivery of river improvement and engagement projects. The role will include engagement activities with stakeholders, landowners and local communities, training and managing our volunteers, as well as delivery of physical improvement works such as invasive species control, river restoration and wetland creation projects. The role holder will report to one of our Senior Project Managers.

The successful candidate will have knowledge of topics such as catchment management, river conservation, river restoration and be confident in communicating with stakeholders, landowners, local communities and our volunteers. 

The post holder will be home-based and will need to travel throughout the Mersey Basin catchment (predominately within Greater Manchester and Cheshire).

Key Duties:

The main duties of the role will be to support Mersey Rivers Trust staff in the delivery of its River Bollin/BEACON Partnership environmental enhancement and public engagement projects within the River Bollin catchment (parts of Greater Manchester/Cheshire). The post holder will be supervised by a Project Manager or Senior Project Manager but will be expected to take ownership and lead specific tasks following appropriate training/competence development.

Specific duties will include: 

  • To carry out water quality sampling, biological sampling and other aquatic surveys within the River Bollin catchment.
  • Support and lead engagement with the BEACON partnership, local communities and stakeholders as part of project delivery.
  • Support and lead the organisation of outdoor public volunteer events (e.g. invasive species control and litter picks) and support the co-ordination of volunteers.
  • To support the delivery of environmental enhancement and nature-based solutions projects (e.g. Natural Flood Management schemes, river restoration schemes, Invasive Species control).
  • To support the Senior Project Manager in project management and reporting activities, including financial reporting, as well as management of contractors.
  • To help promote water environmental messages to the public through presentations, displays, events, social media and general publicity.
  • To assist in the development of monitoring and evaluation systems and to document, monitor and evaluate all projects in line with funding requirements.
  • To support the preparation of funding bids for the Trust.
  • To attend regular internal and external meetings as required, including the BEACON partnership meetings.
  • To work in a flexible manner and to undertake any other duties and responsibilities as may be assigned from time to time, which are commensurate with the grade of the job.
  • To travel throughout the River Bollin catchment area and occasionally elsewhere in the Mersey River Basin as required.
  • To carry out all of the above duties with full regard to the Trust’s Equal Opportunities, Non-Discrimination, Safeguarding, Environmental, Health and Safety policies.

Candidate Profile

  • GCSEs (or equivalent qualifications) in maths and English is essential. Education to A level (or equivalent qualifications) in relevant subjects or equivalent relevant vocational qualifications is desirable.
  • Valid driving licence and own vehicle, insured for business use is essential.
  • Competent and confident in the use of email, Excel and Word. Experience in GIS and Powerpoint would be desirable, along with social media (Facebook, Twitter).
  • A confident and clear communicator with experience in delivering engagement projects with a variety of stakeholders and local communities.
  • Experience of successful environmental project delivery working as part of a team, ideally in the river environment and/or in catchment management.
  • Understanding of how different physical improvement projects are meant to perform in relation to river catchments, river channels and river ecology.
  • Experience in working with contractors and volunteers is desirable.
  • Self-motivated and able to work effectively from home without supervision and to a high level of accuracy and attention to detail.
  • Ability to work flexibly, including some early mornings, some evenings and some weekends/bank holidays.
  • Ability to prioritise and plan activities to meet strict deadlines.
  • Reliability, good attendance and work performance.
  • Strong team working skills and able to work collaboratively with partners, contractors, volunteers and community groups.
  • Good organisational / admin skills and attention to detail –

General Notes

  • Travel around the Mersey Catchment will be necessary and therefore a current driving licence and access to an appropriately insured vehicle is desirable.
  • This position will from time to time require work during some evenings, weekends and public holidays. A time-off in lieu system is operated by the Trust.

Term and Conditions

The following terms and conditions are typically offered to Mersey Rivers Trust staff and are set out as a guide only. Terms and conditions may vary according to circumstances and this summary does not form part of any subsequent employment 

Contract duration: Permanent.

Annual leave: 28 days annual leave (including 3 day Christmas shutdown) pro rata plus bank holidays.

Time off in lieu: The Trust operates a time off in-lieu system for work at weekends, evenings or bank holidays. We do not pay overtime or double time. 

Location: Home-Based. Some working may be required from time to time in our offices in Styal. The work will include some home-based computer / planning activities, alongside working across the Mersey catchment area, both indoors (e.g. in community spaces) and outdoors.

Travel expenses: travel expenses will be paid for all work-related travel within the Mersey catchment (Greater Manchester, MerseysideCheshire plus small areas of Lancashire (parts of West Lancs and Rossendale districts) and part of the High Peak district of Derbyshire. Candidates living outside the catchment area will need to cover their own travel costs from their home to the catchment boundary. 

Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram joined volunteers in a litter clean-up operation around part of the River Alt on 19 November to support our environmental initiative called ‘Plastic Free Mersey’.

The Plastic Free Mersey project is led by environmental charities Mersey Rivers Trust and Thames21. It builds on Thames21’s award-winning litter survey work, which has identified the most common plastic litter items on the Tidal Thames.

The Plastic Free Mersey project was publicly launched on 22 July in Liverpool and initially runs for two years. This project is training and supporting volunteers to collect valuable data about the plastic items they find along the River Mersey and its 23 tributaries that flow from the Pennines to Liverpool Bay. The litter found will be safely removed and correctly disposed of.

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “The River Mersey has been central to our region’s fortunes throughout our history. We’ve come a long way towards cleaning it up since Lord Heseltine described the Mersey as an ‘affront to the standards a civilised society should demand of its environment.’

“The Plastic Free Mersey campaign has my full support – and I am hoping to make further announcements on my ambitions to clean up the Mersey in the near future.

“We are very proud to join all the volunteers, Thames21, Mersey Rivers Trust, and Plastic Free Mersey project partners in supporting this brilliant campaign today. It’s great that local residents get to take part in helping to do their bit for the environment and we hope that it will encourage them to reduce, reuse and recycle plastic.”

John Sanders, Director at Mersey Rivers Trust, said: “We are very pleased that the Metro Mayor is supporting our mission to bring awareness to the consequences that littering can have on the River Mersey waterways. We welcome his endorsement of our project aims to identify how plastic litter gets into our rivers and the actions required to achieve a plastic free Mersey. We would also like to thank Knowsley Council for all their help with the litter clean-up today, as well as Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority for the provision of litter clean-up equipment".

Debbie Leach, CEO of Thames21, said: “We are delighted that the Metro Mayor has endorsed our Plastic Free Mersey project and shares our belief that plastic litter has no place in our rivers or the natural environment. So much plastic is being littered – not only is it trashing our rivers, creating an eyesore and harming wildlife, it is also a waste of a valuable resource that could be recycled into useful products.”

Plastic pollution damages ecosystems, discourages people from visiting their rivers and seas, and is a source of increasing concern for riverside communities. The Plastic Free Mersey project focuses on identifying and quantifying plastic litter and other litter on riverbanks and estuaries to spur changes in people’s behaviour, such as reduced littering and increased recycling, and to provide essential information to the plastics and waste management industries to support circular economy solutions.

By collecting information on plastic and other litter along with information on people’s waste disposal (including littering) habits, the project will tackle how society uses and disposes of plastic. Through industry collaboration, the initiative will help shape behaviour change to keep litter out of waterways. It will also explore ways to increase the effectiveness of plastics recycling and management.

Thames21 and Mersey Rivers Trust is  working in collaboration with LyondellBasell, one of the world’s largest producers of plastics and chemicals, INOVYN, Europe’s leading producer of vinyls and SUEZ, a global expert in the water and waste sectors. These three business partners have company sites in the River Mersey catchment. The project also has the support of the British Plastics Federation, PlasticsEurope, RECOUP, and the endorsement of the Liverpool City Region, Chester West and Chester Council, Warrington Borough Council, and Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA). Both Suez and MRWA have supplied litter pickers for the Plastic Free Mersey volunteers to use.

The project aims to create and test an effective model of co-operation between NGOs, researchers and the plastics industry to tackle plastic pollution in waterways. This model can then be applied to other river catchments in the UK and abroad. The project team is engaging with academic experts and other businesses in the plastics sector to gather advice and contributions to ultimately generate solutions (based on robust evidence and methods) to the excessive levels of plastic and other litter in and around our rivers. Such solutions comprise behavioural and management changes across at the individual, community, business, and government levels.


Background information

  • Collecting robust evidence is fundamental to addressing environmental issues. Thames21’s Thames River Watch project trains volunteers to count and quantify the types and amounts of plastic litter on the Tidal Thames. Its 2015-19 surveyresults can be found on the Thames21 website.
  • Sustainability challenges are being tackled through EU and UK legislation with bans of unnecessary single-use plastics, Deposit Return Schemes and Extended Producer Responsibility and the European plastics producers are now calling for mandatory 30% content of recycling contentin plastic packaging by 2030.
  • LyondellBasell and INOVYN are active participants in the Operation Clean Sweep®(OCS) initiative, run in the UK by the British Plastics Federation, the nation’s leading plastic trade association, and Plastics Europe in their businesses on the continent.
  • The OCS international initiative is designed to prevent the release of plastic granules (pellets, flakes and powders) into the environment during handling by the various parties in the plastics value chain. Companies signing up to OCS commit to improving worksites to prevent and address spills and to create and to publish internal procedures to achieve no industrial plastic material loss, among other points.
  • Keep up to date with our project via our website and #plasticfreemersey on Twitter.

About the Mersey Rivers Trust and Thames 21

The Mersey Rivers Trust and Thames 21 ( are environmental charities working in partnership with all those interested in improving local rivers and waterways for people and wildlife. Both charities are part of the national Rivers Trust movement. 


Part of INEOS, INOVYN is Europe’s leading producer of vinyls and in the top three worldwide. With an annual turnover of €3.1 billion, INOVYN has circa 4,200 employees and manufacturing, sales and marketing operations in 8 countries across Europe. INOVYN’s portfolio consists of an extensive range of class-leading products arranged across General Purpose Vinyls; Specialty Vinyls; Organic Chlorine Derivatives; Chlor Alkali; Sulphur Chemicals; Salt; and Electrochemical and Vinyls Technologies. INOVYN’s annual commercial production volume is circa 10 million tonnes. More information at

INOVYN has 3 sites in the UK: Runcorn, Cheshire; Northwich, Cheshire; and Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.

About LyondellBasell

LyondellBasell (NYSE: LYB) is one of the largest plastics, chemicals and refining companies in the world. Driven by its employees around the globe, LyondellBasell produces materials and products that are key to advancing solutions to modern challenges like enhancing food safety through lightweight and flexible packaging, protecting the purity of water supplies through stronger and more versatile pipes, improving the safety, comfort and fuel efficiency of many of the cars and trucks on the road, and ensuring the safe and effective functionality in electronics and appliances. LyondellBasell sells products into more than 100 countries and is the world’s largest producer of polypropylene compounds and the largest licensor of polyolefin technologies. In 2021, LyondellBasell was named to FORTUNE Magazine’s list of the “World’s Most Admired Companies” for the fourth consecutive year.

More information about LyondellBasell can be found at

SUEZ Recycling and Recovery UK

SUEZ Recycling and Recovery UK was established in the UK in 1988 as part of the global SUEZ group. We manage the waste sites on behalf of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), managing 1.1 million tonnes of waste arising from nearly 2.3 million residents. We help to reduce the environmental impact of our customers’ waste by recycling and extracting the value from it, putting Greater Manchester’s waste to good use. Our company’s diverse activities are guided by a vision to engineer a society where there is no more waste and our goal is to help create a circular economy in which nearly all waste materials are given a second life and reused, recycled or recovered for their energy content. Passion for the environment is a core value for us and we are proud to support efforts to keep our communities clean and tidy. More information at Several waste sites which SUEZ manage are located near the River Mersey.

About the British Plastics Federation

Established in 1933, the British Plastics Federation is the UK’s leading trade association for the plastics industry, representing the entire supply chain, including raw material suppliers, manufacturers and recyclers.

About PlasticsEurope

PlasticsEurope is the pan-European association of plastics manufacturers with offices across Europe.  For over 100 years, science and innovation has been the DNA that cuts across our industry. With close to 100 members producing over 90% of all polymers across Europe, we are the catalyst for the industry with a responsibility to openly engage with stakeholders and deliver solutions which are safe, circular and sustainable. We are committed to implementing long-lasting positive change.

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