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Aquatic Invertebrate Sampling and Identification Training Workshop

Date: Thursday 29th September 2017, 10am-4pm,

Location: Wadelows Nature Reserve, Toddington (nr J12 of M1).
Cost: Free

The Upper and Bedford Ouse Catchment Partnership is running a FREE 1-day introductory training workshop for volunteers interested in the identification of aquatic invertebrates. As part of this workshop you will learn:


U&BOCP Spring Symposium

The Upper & Bedford Ouse Catchment Partnership has had a very productive year, including: welcoming new members, developing our website, updating our Vision and Objectives, holding community engagement events, contributing and commenting on EA plans and strategies, producing a funding strategy;  and delivering a number of river restoration projects.

On March 23rd 2017 from 10.00-1.00 at the Forest Centre, Marston Moretaine, we are holding our ‘Spring Symposium’ which will include presentations on many of these activities and updates from some of our neighbouring Catchment Partnerships.  This will be a great opportunity for people to hear more about our work, so please do spread the message far and wide.

Volunteer training events

In March and April 2017, UBOCP will be hosting a number of volunteer training events to highlight the range of ways in which we believe communities and individuals can assist the U&BOCP in caring for, and enhancing, our rivers and watercourses.

Our hope is that following these events, many volunteers will ‘sign up’ to a volunteer activity, which may be reporting pollution incidents or the locations of invasive species; or identifying locations for water and habitat enhancements; or joining volunteer work parties ‘getting your feet wet’; or undertaking surveys and monitoring activities.

Tuesday 22 March 2017, 7.30-9.30

Biggleswade (Baptist Church Hall) – Indoor Session

Update on the work of the U&BOCP and the role volunteers can play in looking after rivers and supporting the Partnership’s work.

Sunday 10 April 2017, 10.00-12.30

Biggleswade Common – Outdoor Session

A walk along the River Ivel, seeing recent works and identifying ‘real-life’ issues and opportunities.

Wednesday 30 March, 7.30 – 9.30pm

Rushmere Country Park, Heath & Reach – Indoor Session

Background on the River Ouzel, update on the work of the Partnership and the Trust locally, and the role volunteers can play in looking after local rivers and supporting the Partnership’s work

Saturday 9 April 2017, 10.30am – 1pm

Riverside Walk, Leighton-Linslade – Outdoor Session

A walk along the River Ouzel, seeing recent works and identifying ‘real-life’ issues and opportunities


Revival of the Ivel

The Upper & Bedford Ouse Catchment Partnership (UBOCP) will be holding a community engagement day on Biggleswade Common on Sunday 13th September 2017.

The event, which will run from 10.00am to 3.00pm will provide information on a wide range of issues, as well and a hands-on opportunity to support river restoration works on the River Ivel. Visitors are welcome to pop in at any time, for as long or short as they wish. Information on topics such as water quality, angling, invasive non-native species, habitat conservation and rivers restoration techniques will be available. Members of the public who want to roll their sleeves up will be able to assist in constructing willow bundles which will be used to help protect sections of riverbank against erosion.

Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity and the Environment Agency, both key members of UBOCP, will host the event, which will be located where the River Ivel is joined by Bells Brook – approximately 400m (5 minutes walk) north of the Dan Albone Car Park.

BRCC’s Cliff Andrews says

"We hope to have a large tank with some of our local river fish; and also a 3D river model which can demonstrate erosion and deposition processes. I’m really looking forward to that."

The practical works being undertaken are part of a series of enhancements being undertaken with funding that UBOCP secured from the Catchment Partnership Action Fund. Further works to be undertaken on the Ivel at Biggleswade common over the coming months include re-profiling of the most-eroded sections of bank, fencing, tree planting and the provision of designated cattle drinking areas.

For more information about the event contact us.

Find out more about the Upper & Bedford Ouse Catchment Partnership.

The River Ivel Project

The Environment Agency have produced a Fact Sheet detailing the background behind The River Ivel Project.  A copy is available to download here:

The Ivel Project Fact Sheet

The Fact Sheet covers the project aims, how it links in with the RBMP, key considerations and the EA's engagement with local communities and organisations to work in partnership.

If you have any further questions about the River Ivel project please contact Chris Lenton, Project Manager on 01480 483099 or alternatively email

A Community Guide to Your Water Environment

Press release: The new Community Guide to Your Water Environment has just been released.

Download your copy now!