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August 2020
Welcome to our August edition of From Home to the River, filled with links to our recent Soak Up Nature online courses (recorded in case you missed them) and a fantastic intro to moth trapping from our Director Ed Shaw. We also have a new Natural Flood Management project to announce, read on to find out more.
TEAM DCRT
Volunteer Task Statement
The team want to thank all DCRT volunteers for their patience whilst we get volunteering back up and running again. We've been carefully interpreting the government guidance with your safety in mind. With shielding coming to an end for the most vulnerable and guidelines allowing outdoor meetings of up to 6 from differnt households, we now feel in a position to restart some of our voluntary tasks.

Tasks will have limited numbers (places for 3-4 volunteers) and require booking on to in advance (via the volunteer toolkit). Where demand is high for places we will run two sessions, morning and afternoon, on one day. Unfortunately, we can't offer all our usual tasks at the moment - to find out what we are currently able to offer please read the extra detail below.


Our weekly zoom tea-breaks will also start to run less frequently now as we start providing socially distanced volunteer days. It's been fantastic to stay in touch this way over lockdown, and we're now looking forward to seeing some of you in person!


River clean-ups and Litter-picks
in Chesterfield, Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster

Risk assessments and method statements have been updated for how we’re going to be able to deliver these days safely. Off the back of this, we’ve had our first ‘pilot’ volunteer day in Chesterfield. Three volunteers were invited to go through the new protocols that we had in place and we are altering our ways of working based on feedback from the session. Our main issue is litter collection as not all councils are offering this service yet. Once we’re able to work with local councils on this we will be delivering more regular days for our volunteers to join in.

Balsam pulling at the Moss Valley
Unfortunately, we’ve missed the season for balsam pulling so instead we will have ‘reconnaissance’ days looking at where the areas are worse affected as to inform our strategy for next year. If you would like to get involved with this let us know!

Natural Flood Management Volunteer Days

At the present, with current rules around social distancing, we’ve agreed that it would be difficult and dangerous to construct leaky dams which involve lifting large logs and bashing posts into the ground, both of which require people to be within 2m of each other. We are reviewing what tasks we might be able to do instead and will be letting you know of opportunities soon.  

Citizen Science Volunteer Days
Our citizen science outdoor survey days will run this Autumn so look out for dates on the volunteer toolkit for booking. We are able to offer wildlife camera days to 1-2 volunteers.
We ran our first pilot volunteer river clean-up this Thursday - a huge thank you to the 3 volunteers that took part, adjusted to the new protocols and gave us excellent feedback!
Soak Up Nature... Dip into a summer of online learning
74 people attended our live online training sessions this month! Missed out? The sessions were recorded and are available through the links below:

BUZZING RIVERSIDES - click here        FRESHWATER FISH - click here
RIVERSIDE FORAGING - click here
Quick Survey: Would you like more online training opportunities?
 YES PLEASE
 NO THANKS
OnlineTalk/Q&A with DCRT & Plastic Free Chesterfield: 
Cleaning up litter in Chesterfield's waterways

WEDNESDAY, 19 AUGUST, 19:00-20:00

Plastic pollution is an issue that affects all of us. The River Rother was once one of Europe’s most polluted rivers. Now local charity, Don Catchment Rivers Trust are working with the Chesterfield community to eradicate damaging invasive species and remove decades of industrial and plastic waste from the river.
 
Plastic Free Chesterfield presents Catchment Officer, Matt Duffy, for a free online talk about the Hidden Heritage Secret Streams project, some of their most interesting and unusual finds from the river & stream clean ups, and how you can get involved in future clean ups.

Register for your FREE ticket here
Citizen science survey of the month is: 
UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology's  "Nature Up Close and Personal: A Wellbeing Experiment"
The social experiment is inviting thousands of people across the UK to sign up to 5 days of 10-minute, nature-based activities. Participants will be then asked to fill in an online form, to help scientists understand how nature affects our wellbeing. You can sign up at any point over the six-week period, from now until 25 August 2020 using the link above!


Did you take part in the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust's Great Yorkshire Creature Count?
Results can be found here! Plus there is still time to take part in Butterfly Conservation Trust's Big Butterfly Count
Coming soon....
New Natural Flood Management project & volunteering opportunity!

Some exciting news on our natural flood management work this month. We’ve secured funding for a farm scheme in the Grassmoor area of Chesterfield that will not only help capture and slow down rainfall and runoff, but also create new habitats for wildlife, store more carbon and improve both soil health and the quality of the River Rother. We’ll be working with the farmer to create a floodplain meadow, multiple scrapes (shallow ponds that hold rain or flood water), a field corner pond as well as planting and managing hedgerows. We’re hoping to be able to get volunteers involved in helping deliver some of these works providing regulations around Covid-19 allow so we’ll let you know of any opportunities as they arise and bring you more info as the project progresses. Watch this space!

This space will be transformed for better flood storage and wildlife habitats!
Nature Journal
Matt Duffy, DCRT Catchment Officer has been spotting bees this month.
"Bumblebees are a group that I’ve always felt a bit intimidated by. They move around so fast and I felt they have such slight differences that I found it difficult to get my eye into them - but I’d also never really put much effort into learning them…

After doing the online bumblebee training course with Bumblebee Conservation Trust I felt like the bumblebee world opened up that little bit more and I immediately started to recognise a few of those bees I’d seen during the training. I can highly recommend having a look over the training course (link above!). Off the back of the training I downloaded the Bumble Bee Conservation Trust app and have been using it to identify the busy bees in the garden.

Here’s a video (click on the image) of a bedraggled buff tailed bumble bee that flew into my kitchen after a heavy downpour. I watched the bee as it methodically used its legs to dry itself off until it was its fuzzy self again. I was surprised by how effective it was at drying itself – especially with no towel to hand. It quickly took to the sky and flew directly out of the door and off it went."
Marvellous Moths
It's a fantastic time of year to learn about moths! Although there are some very exciting and bright 'day-flying' moths, in the UK most of our moths fly at night. Watch our Director, Ed Shaw's virtual moth trap video to learn more! 

Moth traps make a great activity for the garden, why not try a DIY moth trap by hanging a white sheet on the washing line and focusing a bright torch on the sheet to attract them.
Well dressing!
There is still time to sign up for our socially-distanced well-dressing kits! The well dressing will be displayed at Tapton Lock by the river Rother and canal in Septemeber.

Decorate your section of a giant well dressing at home using clay and natural materials. Everything is provided and will be dropped off/collected to particpant's home addresses. We have 6 spaces left and you can sign up here:
www.dcrt.org.uk/well-dressing
We follow the 5 Ways to Wellbeing






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Don Catchment Rivers Trust · Churchill Business Centre · Churchill Road · Doncaster, DN2 4LP · United Kingdom

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