2024 is here and all of us in the RTCT team are excited about continuing to work for a healthy River Thame catchment with our incredible network of supporters, volunteers, partners and funders. Before we dive into our year ahead, we would like to take a look back at all that’s been accomplished in the last year and thank the people who have made our work possible.
Special thanks to our partners & funders who have made our work possible:
Environment Agency, Freshwater Habitats Trust, Garfield Weston Foundation, The Rivers Trust, John Spedan Lewis Foundation, Natural England, Pilio Ltd, Rothschild Foundation, Thames Water, SMS Environmental, South Oxfordshire District Council, Banbury Ornithology Group, Waterstock Village and the Woodroffe Benton Foundation
We would also like to thank all of the individual donors who have generously contributed to the Trust and the many volunteers who have donated their time over this last year.
Message from the CEO, David Fraser
2023 seemed busy at the time, but it is only by looking at all the project outcomes detailed below that one gets a full sense of what that hard work produced: real impact. Those projects are diverse in what they entailed but each undoubtedly contributed to the Trust’s goal of attaining a healthy river catchment with clean water and thriving wildlife, valued and enjoyed by local people.
My other observation is that the scale of 2023’s achievements seems out of proportion to our small (albeit magnificent) team of 5.2 staff. That’s because we are not alone: the Trust benefits greatly from a body of volunteers, partner organisations, landowners and trustees who share our vision. Those allies amplify our impact, through their time, moral support, collaboration, and expertise. The magic ingredient that all our supporters bring to the party is a shared appreciation for the natural environment of the Thame catchment.
Alongside the delivery of projects, a key priority for the Trust has been to secure larger and longer-term funding to enable us to deliver even more for the Thame. We’ve been busy generating ideas and pursuing funds to enable us to do just that. We’ve pursued funds for projects ranging from engaging young people with nature to reducing flood risk through nature-based solutions and helping farmers pursue water and nature-friendly farming measures. We’ll be in a position to share some significant outcomes of these funding bids in the coming weeks – watch this space.
It would be disingenuous to highlight all the good news, without acknowledging that many pressures are acting upon the natural environment, with the Thame catchment being no exception. We will continue to inform, influence and indeed listen to, relevant organisations to further our cause. We’ll act locally – for example through our role as Thame Catchment Partnership co-host, and nationally, through the Rivers Trust (our umbrella body), who amplify the voice of local trusts and can represent our collective interests at the governmental level.
So, here’s looking forward to 2024, with realism about the challenges but optimism about the opportunities – and our collective resolve.
Here are just some of the many highlights of 2023...
Thame Water Spill Map Launched
BBC Radio Feature
Chalk Stream Habitat Improvement
Fish Ladder Improvement on the Chalgrove Brook
New Farmer "Super" Cluster
New Riverfly Monitors
Barrier to Fish Removed on the Chalgrove Brook
Monitoring our Precious Chalk Streams
6 Months of Catchment-Wide Water Sampling
Pressing for Improvement to Water and Sewage Infrastructure
Brown Trout Found in the Chalgrove Brook
Volunteers Add Botanical Diversity to our New Fish Bypass Channel
Farmers Come Together to Promote Sustainable Practices
Eythrope Wetland Recognised for its Biodiversity and Habitats
Volunteers Improve Chalk Stream Habitat
Kestrels Successfully Breed at Eythrope Wetlands
Inspiring the Next Generation of River Enthusiasts
Volunteers Achieve a Full Year of Monthly Water Sampling
Local Wildlife Site Expanded, Improved, and Protected
Success at our 2nd Annual Water Conference
Communities Celebrate Rivers Week 2023
Chalk Stream Improvement Work Parties
Bringing Farmers Together to Inspire Soil Health Improvement
As we enter 2024, we're inspired by the progress achieved through last year's collective efforts. From restoring habitats to advocating for cleaner rivers, every action has made a difference. But our work continues! If you'd like to get involved in the next year, consider making a donation, joining our volunteer network or spreading the word about River Thame Conservation Trust. Thank you for your ongoing support, and here's to a promising year ahead.
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