Students for Rivers Camp

The next Students for Rivers Camp will take place on the Dart River in the UK, from September 3rd to September 10th, 2023. Check out the information below and get excited.

Applications will be open from April 1st to April 30th, 2023. 

The River Collective invites 30 bachelors, masters and PhD students from around the world, representing a diverse range of disciplines, to the Students for Rivers Camp (SRC) on the River Dart and Estuary, south-west England. For the 5th annual SRC in 2023, the River Collective is taking a new direction through a source-to-sea exploration of the Dart, combining science, art and community empowerment for an interdisciplinary and intercultural education. A week-long programme of workshops, lectures and practical fieldwork training will engage students in the protection of free-flowing and thriving rivers and coastal ecosystems. The SRC base will be located along the banks of the winding River Dart, where participants will return to each day after learning from local river and coastal communities, researchers and experts, inspiring creative collaborations between participants.

We discuss the future of river and coastal ecosystems in the context of a fast changing planet and the power of community-led action in protecting these most vulnerable habitats. Students will expand their ideas by asking questions at the forefront of environmental and social sciences; how can nature-based solutions be used to restore healthy, thriving ecosystems? How can we reestablish the connection between nature and people in the quest for resilient climate change solutions?

Our aim is to celebrate rivers, from source to sea, and learn from local communities in the protection of the natural world to sustain a healthy living environment (social, economic and environmental) for all species including humans. Through the case study experience of the Dart Valley, which has parallels to many threatened rivers worldwide, the SRC provides an entry point for future scientists, artists, lawyers and other experts to take an active role in river conservation.

Flowing through granite moorland, temperate rainforests, and small villages and towns including Buckfastleigh and Totnes, the Dart travels 75 km before joining the sea at Dartmouth and Kingswear inside the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and South Hams district. Local residents and visitors from afar enjoy the river and coastal waters for recreational swimming, kayaking, fishing and hiking throughout the year, with the local tourism industry benefiting from the natural beauty of the valley. In 2019, the Dart Estuary Marine Conservation Zone was designated in recognition of the Dart’s rich coastal saltmarshes and intertidal habitat. However, the Dart faces increasing pressures. Several sources of pollution combined with geological but also anthropogenic factors threaten the river and cause e.g. the risk of flooding during flash flood events. In recent years, communities within the Dart catchment have additionally expressed concern over the lack of water flowing through this valley and there has been a rise in outdoor swimmers calling the bathing water quality of the Dart into question. Though, the Dart is home to a strong community of willing and dedicated river defenders who are actively involved with citizen science opportunities to monitor the health of the water. The challenges and successes of managing this catchment presents an opportunity to introduce students to river-to-coast approaches in water conservation and protection, highlight the need for strong partnerships and inclusive community engagement to deliver climate-resilient solutions for the world’s rivers.

The Students for Rivers Camp is open for Bachelor’s, Master’s, and PhD students from ALL disciplines. If you are not currently enrolled in a university, you are still welcome to participate – just send us an email regarding your situation. If you live in the UK and are interested in participating as a non-student, we are also happy to hear from you! (If in doubt, feel free to send us a quick message.) We hope to welcome 15 students from the UK, and 15 students from the rest of Europe. We specifically invite students from the Balkan area as well as Ukraine to apply, and are hoping to make some scholarships available for them. More on this later. 

Also, it is worth noting that you do not need any kayak or raft experience to join the camp!

Applications will be open from April 1st to April 30th, 2023.

Soon, we will be publishing the program details here.

Soon, we will announce the first confirmed experts.

More information will follow soon.


This Students for Rivers Camp is a collaboration with the Schumacher College and is supported by our business member NRS. We are still looking for further support. For more info, see