River of Life provides us with a unique opportunity to reconnect people and communities with water and wetlands, enabling everyone to make the clear link between the health of these ecosystems and their own well-being. Funding from HLF allowed us to carry out a pilot project known as Water for Life, to find out more about how people do and would like to engage with the site. All sorts of community groups utilise the area: from walkers and kayakers, to schools and artists. The River of Life project offers a fantastic opportunity get the local community involved in the planning and development of a wetland – particularly the access, interpretation and learning opportunities that they would like to see.
During summer of 2014, four local schools visited the River of Life site to learn about the wetland and get inspired by the river - find out more about what they got up to.
What kinds of access, interpretation, walks and talks would you like to see at the River of Life?
Throughout Autumn/Winter 2014 we ran Water for Life engagement sessions with local communities (Dorchester, Wallingford, Radley and Goring), telling the story of the River of Life project and enabling people to feed directly into the development of plans for access and interpretation.
After an introduction to the Earth Trust by Head of Learning Dr Kerry Lock, our key note speaker Dr Curt Lamberth, Eco-Hydrologist, provided an insight into the conception, development and practical creation of the River of Life project (which was funded by the Environment Agency). A consultation discussion followed, providing the audience with a direct opportunity to share what types of access and interpretation they would like to see, as well as thoughts on engagement opportunities (such as topics for courses, walks and talks).
We still welcome feed back so if you have any comments or questions please drop us an email.