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The Big River Watch - Get Involved!

Updated: Oct 19, 2023

The Big River Watch weekend will take place over the weekend of the 22nd-24th of September, coinciding with World Rivers Day on September 24th.

The Big River Watch Logo
The Big River Watch

Big River Watch is an invitation for everyone to love their local river and be a part of the movement demanding better for them. Wherever you are, you can get involved.

By spending a little time watching your local river and completing a simple survey within the free Big River Watch app on the wildlife and pollution you see, you will contribute to a UK and Ireland-wide dataset that can be used to create and demand positive change.

How does Big River Watch work?

Step 1: Sign up Sign up and download the survey app to your phone before visiting the site.

Step 2: Take part Pick a riverside location to join others around the country in collecting data about the health of your local river. You can complete the survey at your favourite local spot, or choose to get to know somewhere new!

Visit between the 22nd and the 24th September 2023, and spend just 15 minutes observing and answering the questions on the survey. You'll tell us about the things that you see - from wildlife and plants, to the flow speed of the water and whether you can spot any pollution. If you don't know what you're looking at, use our handy in-app ID guides for pollution and wildlife. Step 3: Upload Upload your survey. We'll gather up all of your results and our data specialists will get busy analyzing the information so that The Rivers Trust and other environmental organizations can be better armed in the fight for healthier, wilder rivers. Share your experience and your photos on social media using #BigRiverWatch.

We would love to get as many people from across Essex and Suffolk involved as possible in this event! Once you’ve finished your survey why not share a photo or video on social media to encourage others to join in too. Not up for a selfie? That’s okay we’d love to see a photo of your river too! Tell us your stories and facts, we want to know why your river is important to you! Please tag Essex and Suffolk Rivers Trust (@EssexSuffolkRT) in your social media posts so that we can see them!

Why is Big River Watch needed? Rivers are suffering from sewage, plastic, chemical and nutrient pollution. To change this, we need to know where our rivers are having the problems and which problems are the most prevalent. The free and open Big River Watch survey is your chance to make a difference. Data gathered during Big River Watch can support policy change; helping turn the tide on plastics or stem the flow of untreated sewage. It also helps identify the best places for river clean-ups, or the creation of things like wetlands.

Find out more about the Big River Watch from The Rivers Trust

A man standing beside a river, holding his phone to use the Big River Watch app


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