BART are always looking for volunteers to help us improve the health of our rivers. Volunteers can help in various ways, be it extra hands for river restoration work or regular water quality sampling. Below are details of our monitoring and citizen science programmes. If you are interested in volunteering for any of these, please get in touch. We also require volunteers for practical projects throughout the year and contact volunteers on our mailing list when needed. If you would like to be on our volunteer mailing list, please email:

We pride ourselves on getting our feet wet, getting our hands dirty, and getting things done. We couldn’t do this without the help of our fantastic volunteers.

BART Beacons

The easiest way you can volunteer is by becoming a BART Beacon.

BART Beacons are our way of establishing a network of individuals and groups across the catchment who feed back news from their own area for the benefit of all.  BART Beacons is a non-committal form of volunteering which forms our “eyes and ears” on the ground. Volunteers let us know of any issues or opportunities when walking their local stretch(es) of river, stream or brook. BART Beacons allow BART to monitor a far greater area of river than our staff could on their own.

Find out more about our Beacons and how to sign up here.

Volunteering for an Environmental Charity
Water Guardians

Wessex Water Guardians undergo some basic online training, monitor their local river or stream for pollution, and report back monthly. Volunteers choose their site and make a commitment to continued monitoring.

Launched in the BART area in Autumn 2023, Water Guardians give a better understanding of the state of our watercourses. They can alert relevant organisations to pollution incidents which may otherwise be undetected, helping to minimise the ecological impact of pollution.

The role of a Water Guardian is mainly as an active observer and we are recruiting volunteers across the catchment.

Find out more about Water Guardians and how to sign up here.



River Detectives

River Detectives is citizen science initiative to collect a high level understanding of nutrient levels throughout local rivers. Volunteers take monthly water quality samples from their local stream or river. They are trained to test a number of parameters and report back their findings each month.

This programme started in the Chew, Bristol Frome, Cam and Wellow catchments and has now expanded into other area within the wider Bristol Avon Catchment. From autumn 2023 and into winter, BART are actively recruiting River Detectives on various rivers.

If you are interested in becoming a River Detective, please email:

Find out more about River Detectives here.



BART detectives
Riverfly Monitors

BART have been managing riverfly monitors in the area for years with a large and active network of volunteers regularly sampling their local river or stream for riverflies and other invertebrates.

BART run training courses every summer to train new monitors at various locations around the Bristol Avon Catchment.

Find out more about riverfly monitoring and how to sign up here.





Which programme best suits you?
Other volunteering opportunities

The volunteering opportunities that we have available at any one time depend on our projects and funding available.

Examples of ways you could volunteer with us include, but are not limited to:

  • A range of computer-based tasks from social media to mapping to graphic design
  • Fundraising
  • Walkover surveys
  • Citizen Science
  • Becoming a Trustee – the Board of trustees is accountable for ensuring BART is properly governed and controlled. From time to time we look to strengthen the Board. To find out more contact
  • Practical river restoration and invasive species control
  • Sharing local knowledge and history of an area
  • Drone piloting and filming work
  • Maybe you just know of an area in need of our help!

There are no barriers to volunteering as anyone who has an interest in the river can make a valuable contribution and we seek to reflect the communities in which we operate. This calendar will be updated to show upcoming BART events. If you are interested in getting involved with any of these days, please contact