River Rangers mark two years working in communities

Tuesday 30 January 2024

A team of River Rangers who are dedicated to protecting rivers across the region are marking two years working in the community this week.

The ten Rangers were recruited by Severn Trent in January 2022 to work closely with communities and other special groups such as local river and wildlife trusts, to focus on improving river health and boosting biodiversity along watercourses across its region.

And since the roving River Rangers started, the team has carried out more than 6,000 river inspections across the region.

Gareth Mead, River Ranger Manager, said: “With the Ranger team, our customers have someone that they can talk to that has a real understanding of the local river and watercourses in the area.  Whether it’s doing a guided river walk or carrying out vital monitoring and sampling of the river, providing this direct link to our communities is such an important role to play.”

As well as helping customers to prevent wipes and sanitary products from reaching rivers, the team carry out vital operational, monitoring and sampling activities that help Severn Trent to understand the quality of rivers in its region, and what’s needed to protect and improve them.

Dedicated River Rangers can be seen across Birmingham & the Black Country, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Warwickshire and Staffordshire.  The team can be seen out on the water on kayaks and canoes to inspect outfalls close-up, they also work with canoe and kayak groups on their ‘big river clean-up’ events. 

From former environment workers, to Military personnel and visitor site hosts, the Rangers bring with them a host of experiences to their local communities.

Gareth added: “Our River Rangers come from all walks of life, they all love the outdoors and have a passion for nature. It has been great to see the number of engagements and inspections they have carried out between them and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can achieve as a team of Rangers during the next 12 months.”

Severn Trent is delivering an industry-leading plan to improve river health called Get River Positive, that includes bold commitments, such as by 2030 they will cause no harm from their storm overflow operations, as well as creating more opportunities for everyone to enjoy the regions’ rivers.