Trainee River Stewards to take care of Leeds city centre river

An exciting new River Stewardship Skills Scheme funded by Yorkshire Water and the River Stewardship Company (RSC), will be taking place along the River Aire in central Leeds between June and December this year.

The RSC's Riverlution team is providing the opportunity for the trainee River Stewards to learn about the river in partnership with supporters including the Aire Rivers Trust, Groundworks and Canal Connections. The trainees will be learning about what lives in and around the Aire and how the river impacts on the city and working with the RSC commercial team to carry out tree planting, vegetation clearance, debris removal and tree removal.  Importantly, the scheme also works with the local community on citizen science days and volunteer days clearing debris and litter on the river.  

The Stewardship Skills Scheme will build on the previously successful Leeds City Council funded Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme Volunteer Programme and will provide hands-on experience of working in and around the river for the trainee River Stewards. On completion, it will also guarantee an interview for a site operative role for those taking part.

There is a focus on attracting young people and those out of education and employment, to train the next level of environmental stewards by delivering a holistic and diverse engagement programme that provide attendees with the skills needed for future employment as well as a hope to improve physical activity levels and wellbeing.

Upcoming sessions will include:

  • ID Skills - plants, trees, mammals, non native species
  • River Safety
  • Riverfly monitoring
  • John Muir Award
  • Fixed point photography
  • INNS removal work
  • Litter picking  
  • Bioblitz events - open to all
  • Camera trapping

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Employee checking the river