HomeArrow NewsArrow Clearing up the River Tud

Clearing up the River Tud

St Martins team members and people we support took a day trip down to the River Tud last week as part of a volunteering project run by the Norfolk Rivers Trust.

The project involved clearing and removing Himalayan Balsam, an Invasive Non-Native Species of plant, from the banks of the river. If Himalayan balsam is allowed to grow and disperse seed, it will spread rapidly along watercourses and out-compete native plants.

The group enjoyed their time at the project and have 3 more balsam-bashing days planned. They have also arranged a large group river walk at How Hill for August.


The people who we work with can often experience barriers to accessing the countryside and natural spaces of Norfolk due to their often quite complex circumstances. We wanted to give these people an opportunity and access to these spaces and allow them to appreciate and benefit from them.

In our 2022/23 service wide consultation, 43 of 77 (56%) respondents told us that they would like to access more day trips and activities outside of their normal settings. 27 (35%) wanted to take part in more exercise activities and 25 (33%) wanted to take part in gardening activities and have access to volunteering opportunities. This project gives people the opportunity to volunteer with activities to improve the natural habitat.


The people we work with can often lead stressful and chaotic lives and have complex support needs. Many benefit from time away from their day-to-day lives which helps to calm, relax and refresh them to give them a new perspective on their own worlds. This is why 56% of people told us that they want to participate in day trips. From this project, St Martins can organise and support the activities to Norfolk’s natural spaces and countryside and gives people the ability to access these spaces who otherwise would not feel able to, or in some instances, safe to do so.

Many of the people we work with, especially when we have been working with them for a longer period, want to give back and support others. This is why access to volunteering opportunities was also important to them. Volunteering gives them a sense of pride, raises their confidence and self-esteem and gets them engaged in a structured activity where they will be making a difference.

By supporting people’s access to these spaces, they will feel more confident and able to access these areas again for themselves beyond this project.


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