Throughout 2023, BART (Bristol Avon Rivers Trust) led an extensive series of corporate volunteering initiatives, showcasing the commitment and enthusiasm of dedicated volunteers throughout the Bristol Avon catchment. The BART team, alongside hundreds of volunteers, demonstrated unwavering commitment in their efforts to rejuvenate rivers and streams. Initiatives included river cleans, river restoration projects, balsam bashing events, tree maintenance activities, and engaging educational river walk and talk sessions.
The collective efforts of these volunteers resulted in the removal of over 200 bags of litter and approximately 50 discarded shopping trollies. They played a crucial role in maintaining and nurturing over 200 trees that had been planted over the preceding 2-3 years. A significant focus was also placed on combating the invasive Himalayan balsam, with volunteers successfully removing substantial amounts of this problematic species. Himalayan balsam is known to pose significant threats to native vegetation and wildlife in the UK.
Corporate volunteering days which focus on rivers and the environment offer a myriad of positive outcomes for both participants and the ecosystems they engage with. Firstly, these initiatives contribute to the well-being of participants by providing opportunities to spend time outdoors in nature. Connecting with natural surroundings during river clean-ups, restoration projects, and educational activities enhances mental health, reduces stress, and promotes a sense of well-being among volunteers.
Participants gain valuable insights into the importance of river ecosystems, the impact of pollution, and the significance of habitat conservation. This knowledge empowers individuals to make informed choices in their daily lives and encourages a broader environmental consciousness within communities.
Additionally, these volunteering efforts lead to tangible improvements in habitats for wildlife. By removing litter, restoring riverbanks, and addressing invasive species, corporate volunteers actively contribute to creating healthier environments for local flora and fauna. The positive impact on biodiversity is substantial, ensuring that natural ecosystems thrive and supporting the overall balance of local wildlife.
BART want to take a moment to express our deepest appreciation for the incredible efforts and hard work these wonderful volunteers brought to our recent volunteer days. Their dedication has created a positive ripple effect that is transforming our community and the environment. We look forward to continuing to work with our volunteers throughout 2024 to conserve, protect and enhance the rivers, streams and brooks flowing throughout the Bristol Avon.
If you would like to get involved and organise a corporate volunteering day with your group, please fill out the enquiry form found here.
Thank you to all companies and organisation who took part in corporate volunteering during 2023:
University of Bristol
Aura Power Developments