NRW develops new river restoration qualification

Participants involve in the new river restoration qualification

The rivers of Wales are some of the country’s most valuable natural assets and Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and its partners play an important role in their restoration and maintenance.

NRW has been working with Agored Cymru, the Welsh education and training awarding body to develop a brand new River Restoration Qualification which will benefit volunteers and Welsh rivers.

As part of a pilot NRW and Cambium Training have been supporting and training Groundwork Caerphilly, the South East Wales Rivers Trust and the Wildlife Trust of South West Wales to try out the new units.  

Sue Williams, NRW Education, Learning and Sector Skills team Leader said:

“This qualification focusses on the skills needed for someone being introduced to river restoration either professionally or as a volunteer.

“It can be used by organisations to train their volunteers in river restoration work, share good practice, develop a consistent approach to river restoration and the volunteers get useful accreditation which they can use in their future career or just for fun.”

The level one qualification provides learners with the opportunity to develop specific skills and on the job experience in river restoration and includes topics such as:

  • The legislation relating to rivers – what you need to know before starting work
  • How rivers are formed, different characteristics, human influences
  • Invasive Non-Native Species – what are they and how can we reduce their impact?
  • River Walkover surveys and using an ordnance survey map
  • Practical river restoration skills

This is the start of a developing suite of units that cover a wide range of topics on Outdoor Learning and Natural Resource Management.  

Janet Barlow, Agored Cymru Chief Executive Officer said:

"It's exciting to have had the opportunity to work collaboratively with Natural Resources Wales to develop this unique qualification.

“Our role, as the awarding organisation of choice for education and training providers in Wales, is to continue to develop real opportunities for talented and aspirational learners in Wales.

“Working outdoors in this environment is a great opportunity to develop new skills and gain valuable learning experience outside the classroom.”

Daniel Lewis, Natural Resources Planner, NRW added:

“Healthy rivers offer wide-ranging benefits for the environment, economy and the many people who use them for recreational activities.  

“Natural Resources Wales is keen to support this exciting project that will help volunteers and communities reconnect with their local river. They will be able to make environmental improvements at the same time as enhancing their own job prospects.”

To find out more about Agored Cymru’s qualification contact Judith Archer at

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