Vital Signs of a Healthy Rivers

A training course in understanding river health

Upcoming Course dates and locations:

None Upcoming – Watch This Space

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What you need to know:

Course overview:

Would you like to be able to identify the vital signs of a river and understand how to ‘health check’ your local river?

Trainee’s that complete this course will:

  • have a greater understanding of what affects the health of a river beyond the visible litter pollution.
  • take part in a site-scoping exercise and learn about how river restoration work at the site will improve the watercourse.
  • find out how they can monitor river health by joining citizen science initiatives run by Thames21 and our partners.

This course offers an introduction into what makes a river healthy with a focus on the physical processes and structure (hydro-morphology) of a river and the functional habitat (ecology) that the river and its surrounding area provides.
You will gain an understanding of the importance of protecting the ecology and natural processes of a river system while learning about some of the negative impacts rivers are facing and the consequences these can have.

The course content will be linked to river restoration projects that Thames21 is delivering around London. It will give local participants an insight into the benefits the work is going to have on their waterway and enable them to be spokes people for the project.

The hands on, practical section of this course will be specific to the site where it is taking place. Trainees will get the opportunity to help construct some river restoration features or, at sites where the river restoration work has already taken place, training will include monitoring the impact of the completed work and learning how local people can support the healthy functioning of a section of restored river.


Thames21 is an nationally recognised NCFE Customised Qualification Centre but this is not an accredited course.


This is a two part course –

  • 2.5 hours online
  • Half a day or full day practical – see event details for exact timings


This training is free and funded via Thames21 river restoration projects

Further information:

Please contact if you would like further information.