Tees Valley has a wealth of natural heritage that has blossomed in the shadows of industry and we have a range of projects designed to celebrate, conserve and restore habitats and significant species through engaging activities, demonstrations and workshops.
Tees Alien INvaders
Globally, Invasive Non Native Species (INNS) pose the second biggest threat to biodiversity. The Tees catchment plays host to a number of problematic INNS that are spreading through the system, including the poisonous Giant Hogweed, Himalayan Balsam, Japanese Knotweed and American Signal Crayfish. Work has been carried out to prevent the spread of INNS, which will improve the overall health of the River Tees.
This project aims to train and equip volunteer groups to enable them to map and control Invasive Non Native Species (INNS) where possible in their locality. an important legacy for the future.
The Redcar Wildlife project improves habitats for wildlife as well as promoting and improving accessibility and understanding of the area. This leads to an improved ecological value and a set change in people’s perceptions that the area is not a mono culture, which in turn will lead to increased patronage and economic spend in the area. The project positively promote and integrate the communities of Redcar, Warrenby and South Bank with the Teesdale Way through; improved access, interpretation and viewing areas. A significant proportion of the works are being undertaken in partnership with Tees Valley Wildlife Trust, by a team of apprentices as a means of upskilling local people and improving their job opportunities.
Wings of the Tees
Wings of the Tees celebrates the fabulous winged wildlife of the River Tees including birds, bats and dragonflies through a series of fun activities such as talks, walks and workshops.
The project also provides training and volunteering opportunities that focus on UK priority species such as barn owls and bats with a programme of monitoring, habitat assessment, targeted provision of nesting boxes and advice to landowners. In 2017, 22 barn owl chicks were ringed as part of Wings of the Tees by dedicated and licenced volunteers who have worked with local landowners to site and monitor barn owl nest boxes for maximum impact.
Coastal & Wading Birds
This project started in summer 2017 in partnership with the Tees Valley Wildlife Trust and so far has been involved in over 20 events, engaged with nearly 600 people, recruited over 20 volunteers and identified areas for wading beach creation, access improvements and willow screening.
Volunteers are being trained in bird surveying techniques to help record and monitor bird disturbance from which codes of conduct will be drawn up and promoted. Links with local groups such as the Friends of Redcar have been made, resulting in support for recent beach clean task days.
In September, along with the Friends of Redcar, we helped with the Great British Beach Clean, where the 110 volunteers collected around 60kg of rubbish!
For more information about the project or any upcoming events, please contact Jacky Watson at email@example.com.
Fish 4 Tees
Delivered in partnership with the Tees Rivers Trust.
This project began in summer 2017 and will look at removing an outdated weir along Claxton Beck to improve water flow and fish migration and movement in partnership with the Tees Rivers Trust and the Environment Agency.
Beach areas will be created along the River Skerne to improve access to this river and facilitate its use as an outdoor classroom and volunteers will be recruited and trained to monitor the seasonal movement of elvers and silver eels along the lower Tees. Young people will be engaged as part of an angling programme linked to a local angling club; working closely with schools will help to address a general decline in angling club membership.
Fish Count Results:
The Green Activitees project has been working with local volunteers to make a difference along the river with a variety of regular and one-off practical sessions and family events. For example, volunteers meet monthly at the Tees Barrage and have carried out wildlife surveys, litter picks, habitat improvements (planting trees, wildflower meadows and installing bird nest boxes) and general maintenance alongside site managers the Canal and River Trust. In 2017, 9 nest boxes were installed in partnership with Wings of the Tees, of which 5 were successfully occupied by blue tits, great tits and a wren family!
River Tees Rediscovered also works alongside corporate volunteers and has developed a very successful relationship with Cummins Engineering, leading to regular volunteering sessions at a variety of river sites. The most recent was a litter picking task in the Teesdale area of the river, in Thornaby, as part of the Tees Tidy Up in March 2018.
Honey Pots & Educational Spaces
Delivered in partnership with Tees Valley Wildlife Trust.
Honey Pots & Educational Spaces engages people in the conservation of the wildlife heritage of the River Tees through physical improvements and conservation activities. It focuses on six nature reserves and the green corridors that connect them. Regular volunteer groups carry out important surveying and practical work and school visits are catered for with guided walks and activities.
- Bowesfield Nature Reserve
- Preston Farm Nature Reserve
- Portrack Marsh Nature Reserve
- Maze Park Nature Reserve
- Coatham Marsh Nature Reserve
For more information about Tees Valley Wildlife Trust, visit their website http://www.teeswildlife.org/
Delivered in partnership with the Tees Rivers Trust.
This project is working with local community beck groups through community engagement, training and volunteering initiatives. The scheme focuses on the smaller tributaries that enter the Tees along its course throughout the project area and has trained up several community groups in River Fly Monitoring as a way of measuring water quality. Historically becks and rivers have been treated as sewers or a flood risk, yet people are always drawn to water. This scheme encourages the communities along becks to take an active interest and pride in their local waterways.
In addition, RiverLab delivers innovative school sessions with investigations of the local beck wildlife followed by creative school-based activities involving printing, sculpture and other art techniques.