Trent Rivers Trust

Third Sector • Birmingham, Derby, Derbyshire Dales, East Staffordshire, and more...

Working with local partners, communities and as part of the national Rivers Trust movement, to restore and protect rivers in the Trent catchment.

  • catchment area

Trent Rivers Trust story

Trent Rivers Trust is a charity working to restore and protect rivers, for people and wildlife in the Trent region. They work across large parts of the East and West Midlands.

Trent Rivers Trust believes that rivers are our key allies in our fight against the nature and climate crises.

By working on practical projects on the ground – think rewiggling, sponging up our landscapes and cities and creating pollution-trapping buffer zones, the rivers charity brings heavily modified rivers and catchments closer to their original state. By restoring natural processes, communities often benefit from reduced flood risk, and wildlife from greater, better and more connected habitat.

Bringing people along on the journey and working with communities to connect them to their local river is a vital part of this journey. The charity believes that everyone can take action, big or small, and that time spent near a river is an investment in your wellbeing. To help facilitate the connection between people and their river, Trent Rivers Trust is working on a source-to-sea footpath that follows the river Trent from the Staffordshire Moorlands to the Humber estuary.

Formed in 2001, Trent Rivers Trust has expanded its work of restoring these rivers from an initial focus on salmon introductions to invasive species control, sustainable drainage, natural flood management, river restoration and more. The team has grown accordingly and now includes specialists in agricultural advice, natural flood management, GIS, communications and river restoration.

With a big opportunity to scale up river recovery in the Trent catchment, the team focuses its efforts in four high-impact work areas: (1) river restoration, working towards connected rivers with varied habitats; (2) nature-based solutions, to make the Trent catchment area more resilient to climate change; (3) working with landowners, to reduce water pollution; and (4) increasing opportunities for communities to engage with their river.

Useful learnings from Trent Rivers Trust

Progress moves at the speed of trust. Success for Trent Rivers Trust often depends on landowner engagement, particularly farmers, agreeing to have measures to restore the watercourse or reduce pollution. Building relationships and providing expertise relevant to the farmer enables them to make decisions that benefit rivers and the farm business builds long-term relationships. When we engage with landowners, we think about intersections between what we, as an environmental organisation, want to achieve as well as the barriers and problems farmers face when implementing these measures. By understanding the pain points, we can start to address them constructively and make a difference for farmers and rivers.

And example of this collaboration can be seen in the video above.

Addressing issues in the headwaters – when working on natural flood management, Trent Rivers Trust often works in the headwaters of the catchment, rather than the main river. By intervening early and working on the often overlooked areas in flood risk reduction, the charity adds value where others struggle. Think about the things that you know and the skills you have that may be missing from discussions tackling daunting issues.

You cannot care for what you don’t know. Trent Rivers Trust works on hands-on education initiatives ranging from school visits, to citizen science, believing that change starts with getting to know the watercourses where you work, live and play. 

Trent Rivers Trust metrics

As a minimum by 2030, open up 100km for fish passage; restore 50km of rivers; deploy 60ha of nature-based solutions; engage 800+ landowners; and make a step change in public engagement.

Feeling inspired? Discover more about this story...

Action Area


Response to climate crisis

Mitigation & Adaptation




Third Sector, 10 to 49 people

Shared by

Carbon Copy

Updated Jun, 2024

Recommended for you

  • The Claypits
    Glasgow City

    The Claypits

    Transforming an industrial site into an inner city nature reserve.

  • Tree Musketeers

    Tree Musketeers

    Growing, planting and caring for trees in Hackney.

  • Plant One

    Plant One

    Helping to restore the Celtic rainforest by planting more woodland habitats in Cornwall.

  • Ealing Wildlife Group: Beaver Project

    Ealing Wildlife Group: Beaver Project

    Bringing beavers back to London, to learn how to live alongside them in urban areas.