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Everyone’s Evenlode

Water is essential to our survival, and healthy rivers provide vital habitat for wildlife to flourish. Yet if you don’t have access to a nearby river, it can be easy to not fully appreciate just how special a resource it is. Rising near Moreton-in-Marsh and running through or past attractive villages and towns including Shipton-under-Wychwood and Charlbury, the River Evenlode sweeps in a southeast direction to join the River Thames just below Cassington.

The ‘Everyone’s Evenlode’ project is enabling children, young people and members of the community to access, explore and enjoy their local river and its surroundings. We are working with local schools and communities to help inspire people to connect with their local stretch of river, learn about healthy river environments and nature, and to take positive action to care for and ecologically improve the River Evenlode.

The project so far, in numbers:

  • 2,000+ local students have benefited from river-based outdoor learning
  • 191 people have joined us on 12 guided walks
  • 551 people have enjoyed presentations about the project, at 19 community events
  • 2,603 people have popped over and said hello to the team at 24 separate fairs, festivals and shows
  • 204 people have benefited from 14 knowledge exchange events delivered by the team
  • 353 people have engaged with us as we delivered 2 large scale river community events
  • The project has benefitted from an incredible 798 volunteer hours

An overhead image of children identifying aquatic life in sample trays.
Kids ID-ing critters as part of Wild Wednesdays at Combe Mill, summer 2023 © Jennifer Lanham

Cotswolds National Landscape is part of the Evenlode Catchment Partnership (ECP) , which brings together partners and communities to look after their river environment.

The project is helping to build community skills, understanding and find solutions to the problems that affect water quality, and develop new relationships with landowners. Together, this will help the ECP achieve its long term goal of bringing the Evenlode – a river and landscape that truly merits its place at the heart of our community – back to good ecological condition. The project is being funded by Thames Water, as part of their ‘smarter water catchment initiative’. There are four main work themes, which are being delivered in a collaborative and multi-partnered way:

    • Water quality and advocacy (delivered by Earthwatch for ECP)
    • Biodiversity, habitat, and landscape (delivered by Wild Oxfordshire for ECP)
    • Natural flood management (delivered by Wild Oxfordshire for ECP)
    • Education, access and recreation (delivered by Cotswolds National Landscape for ECP)

Downloadable resources

As part of the project, we are putting together some free, downloadable resources to help inspire people and communities to engage others in river-friendly activities and action:


Duke of Edinburgh students Pond dipping at Combe Mill ©RWJ 

The Everyone’s Evenlode team

The education, access and recreation element of the project is being delivered by the Everyone’s Evenlode team, who are:

    • Rosalind Marsden, Education Officer (3 days per week)
    • Rowan Wynne-Jones, Education and Community Outreach Officer (3 days per week)
    • Jennifer Lanham, Community Officer (3 days per week)

Events

As part of our engagement work, we will be taking part and offering various events across the year. These are listed below.  If you’d like to find out more about these events, the project, or would like to be involved, please email evenlode@cotswolds-nl.org.uk

When? What? Where?
April 2024 (date TBC) Guided walk Stonesfield
24 April 2024 Presentation FarmED, Shipton-under-Wychwood, OX7 6BJ
June 2024 (date TBC) Guided walk Charlbury
August 2024 (dates TBC) Wild Wednesdays Combe Mill, Blenheim Palace Sawmills, Combe, Oxfordshire, OX29 8ET
August/September 2024 (date TBC) Bat evening at Blenheim Blenheim Palace grounds
11 October / 3 November 2024 IF Oxford Science and Ideas Festival TBC Oxford
March 2025 ECP exhibition event TBC

Evenlode Catchment Partnership logo          Thames Water logo