Health and wellbeing

Funding level: £5,001 to £10,000


CATCH stands for Community Action to Transform the River Cale. We are group of volunteers living in Wincanton and we aim to give nature a helping hand to bring it back to a haven for natural wildlife, and a recreational resource for the inhabitants of the town. We started work in 2013 with litter clean ups and ‘hand tool’ scale improvement work and we have built a good number of volunteers and support locally.
The Aviva fund would help take our work up several gears and positively impact a lot more people in the town.

It has been well documented that green and blue (water) spaces have a positive effect on the health of both individuals and communities. Walking and playing by a river and enjoying its wildlife is a huge privilege that should be available to everyone. (link

Our project is all about linking the community with the river in a practical way that allows everyone to participate – whether they are school children, residents, visitors or volunteers who want to get stuck into wet- welly work. We are requesting funding of £10,000, and this is what we plan to deliver with that money during 2018:

1. A schools programme that will encourage children to understand and care for their river. This will include two activities which are tried and tested by other similar groups in other areas – mayfly in the classroom and eels in the classroom. Both involve a mixture of classroom and river bank work and will be held in local primary schools.
2. A Town Trail which follows the river and includes information boards about the history and wildlife of the river.
3. Training and equipment for volunteers to both improve the habitat for wildlife and give the community safe access to the river. This work is aimed to complement the flood management work that is planned upstream of Wincanton.
After the end of 2018, the legacy of the projects in terms of equipment and materials for schools, trained volunteers, information boards etc and will continue. When the CATCH group started in 2013, we received a report of recommendations from the Wild Trout Trust’s ‘Trout in the Town’ programme which identified a list of actions both for public access and habitat improvement that our trained volunteers will continue to deliver. (link
With the help of this funding, CATCH and the river we care for will be recognised as an important part of life in Wincanton.
The people who will benefit will be the local community and visitors who will have a more self sustainable river that is cleaner , safer and a more enjoyable place to spend time. The town has three large Schools with over 1000 children many of them who use the recreational area which the River Cale flows though. We often see between 15 and 30 people attend our regular litter picks along side and in the River, this has now evolved into a social event for many of the more isolated members of our community. Please see our video on you tube by clicking on the link below.

Project Video

Community Action to Transform the Cale Habitat (CATCH)

Moment of Pride

The tenacity of the families who willingly give up their free time to make the town they live in a better place for all including it's wildlife. Longevity , we have been active for almost five years and constantly gain new volunteers from all the sections of our community .

Location: Wincanton