Flood plains, wetland and riverbanks improved by Severn Trent volunteers across Coventry and Warwickshire 

Thursday 12 January 2023

A total of 21 volunteers from Coventry headquartered water and waste company, Severn Trent, have visited three sites in Coventry and Warwickshire as part of the company’s community champions project.   

Seven volunteers visited Whitacre Heath in Lea Marston alongside Warwickshire Wildlife Trust to clear scrub from the wetland site, helping to protect habitats and ensure the wetland continues to thrive. 

Eight volunteers braved the cold to join the Waterside Care Trust in a litter pick alongside the River Sowe in Coventry, clearing a 2,500m stretch of land by the watercourse. 

And in the autumn, a group of six of the company’s employees joined Warwickshire Wildlife Trust to remove willow and scrub from Leam Valley flood plain meadow ensuring that meadow species can thrive and the floodplain can continue to act as it should, providing flood protection for local properties. 

The volunteering days are part of Severn Trent’s community champions scheme, established in 2017, which allows every member of staff to spend two working days a year completing voluntary work and further supports the company’s Get River Positive commitments.  

Stephen Keye, from Severn Trent who took part on the Leam Valley volunteering day, said: “It was a really good day, and we all had a lot of fun. We managed to clear 20 meters of invasive willow and bushes as well as giving the area a good tidy up – it will help wildlife as well as the flood plain. It was a bigger version of weeding your garden. 

“I think the community champions days are a great idea as a whole, it allows us to go out and make a difference in the community whilst doing some valuable team-building.” 

It comes after Severn Trent volunteers cleared washing machines, shopping trolleys and 70 bags of rubbish from Warwickshire rivers last year on community champions days. While over the summer, volunteers from the water company donned their waders and hopped into canoes to clear debris and litter from more than three kilometres of the River Leam and River Sowe. 

Severn Trent’s Get River Positive campaign was launched in March 2022, to take a leading role in making the region’s rivers the healthiest they can be.