Who are we?
The Ouse & Adur Rivers Trust (OART) is a registered charity (No:1082447) who work to improve the water environment through on the ground project delivery and community participation, providing multiple benefits to both wildlife and people.
Our roots lie in the inspiration and dedication of a handful of individuals who independently created both the Sussex Ouse Conservation Society (1995) and River Adur Conservation Society (2007). Born from the desire to protect the ecology of the rivers, these two volunteer-based organisations recognised that joining forces was the best way to share knowledge and make a real difference. In May 2011, the Ouse & Adur Rivers Trust was born and incorporated into the National Rivers Trust movement. Since then we have developed a reputation for delivering evidence based projects, from the smallest habitat enhancements to large scale river engineering schemes.
We are committed to involving, inspiring and empowering individuals and communities to take ownership of their water environment.
Without our team of dedicated volunteers our work would be a lot harder and less successful. They provide crucial support in delivering projects as well as undertaking the monitoring and data collection we need to make informed decisions.
We believe that the better we know our rivers, the better we can help them. Only by being out on the ground, collecting a variety of information and monitoring their condition can we focus our efforts where they are most effective. As such, we are big supporters of citizen science as a means to help us improve our understanding whilst engaging and inspiring people about the natural world.
Our teams of trained volunteers (River Rangers) test water quality parameters (e.g. phosphorus, nitrate and dissolved oxygen), perform invertebrate surveys (a key indicator of river health), monitor sea trout populations and non-native species and collect information on the types, brands and accumulation rates of plastic across the catchment. In doing so, the River Rangers benefit from engaging with nature, learning new skills, meeting new people, and from the satisfaction of making a real difference.
Why are we crowdfunding?
Our established team of River Rangers do an amazing job! Over the years, their data collection has enabled us to develop and deliver a multitude of successful projects. But now, with ever increasing environmental pressures, we need to broaden the area monitored and increase the scope of data. Therefore, to ensure that maximum benefit can be delivered, to enrich the experience of our existing volunteers, and to make it easier for all members of the community to volunteer locally, we are expanding our citizen science programme.
If we can monitor the whole River Ouse catchment annually it will make every River Rangers efforts more valuable. The more data we collect the more informative it becomes, as it enables us to identify trends and contributes to our understanding of the bigger picture. Data collected at this scale will help us identify priority areas for restoration or enhancement, enable us to detect and act upon early warning signs, and focus efforts in project development and delivery.
But in order to do this we need to equip and train new volunteers, develop reporting methods suitable for use at scale, and to create a 'data hub' on our website where we can present and map out the River Rangers findings. Having the data collated like this will also support our future grant applications, allowing us to continue to improve the water environment for wildlife and people, now and into the future.
How we’ll spend the money raised
All raised funds will be spent training new volunteers, on the purchase of additional biological monitoring equipment, additional first aid and health & safety equipment, on the development of reporting methods, and on the dissemination of findings.
Please help us to help our River Rangers take action for nature!
A donation of £10 will buy a macroinvertebrate identification guide
£20 will buy 4 sampling trays
£50 will pay for training a River Ranger in Sea Trout monitoring
£70 will pay for a phosphate monitoring meter
£100 will buy a freshwater invertebrate monitoring kit
Thank you for giving communities the opportunity to help protect their local environment, and for helping us focus our efforts where they are most effective.