On an excursion, you can provide on-site information about the beauties and the problems of the river in your town to interested persons. Your river is may be restricted to one channel in some stretches but follows its natural course within others. Focus on certain topics and provide information on-the-spot and your excursion will be more than just a mere nature hike. Maybe you can even motivate some of the participants to become active as well.
Plan your excursion early if you want it to be successful.
The leader of the excursion is responsible for the design and has to stick to the time schedule. If you have experience in leading groups (e.g. scouts), it is an asset.
Therefore, the leader of the actual trip may need to be an adult so that they can assume the responsibility for it, (e.g. by one of your teachers).
An excursion has to meet the expectations of the target audience/group: a school class has different desires than a family with children.
Get into contact with the target audiences by distributing flyers, leaving a message on the notice board at school or by talking to people at the town hall.
You will always be up to date on the number of people who will join the excursion if the participants have to register (use the reverse side of the flyer as a form). If the number of participants is restricted, offer a waiting list for a further excursion
An attendance list will inform you on how many people attended the excursion and how many stayed until the end.
Date, time and duration are crucial for a successful excursion. Take account of
the availability of the target groups (time, holidays, conflicting events),
the seasons’ characteristics such as weather, floods, activity time of animals, bloom,
the conditions, suitability for various ages and their mobility and for example terrain during rain (will it be possible or will it be too muddy and flooded in areas?),
the necessity that the intended distance can be travelled without time pressure in order that there will be plenty of time for observations and rests,
the punctual return to a class or the timetable of the public transport.
Easy-to-handle informative material (leaflet) may be distributed in a small number at the excursion.
In order to cover expenses you could charge a small participation fee or put up a donation box at the end of the excursion. You could use the extra money for further water actions.
Enquire about excursions organised by other organisations in your town (e.g. by nature conservation agencies) in order to avoid similar or identical events. A collaboration may also be possible.
Invite the local media to a regulated river and use the location to state your demands for a rehabilitation.
Take into account the catering for longer trips; either plan a stop at a restaurant or choose a natural riverbank and use the site to offer local organic food and drinks (ask organic farmers if they would like to sponsor the catering). Invite the local media.
Ask the participants to fill in a short questionnaire stating if they liked the excursion and if they are interested in further water actions. The results may be useful for planning further activities.
Further tips and advice
Enter protected areas only after consultation with nature conservation agencies.
Define safety standards.
‘Human powered mobility’ (on foot, by bicycle) is the best way to move – or use the public transport.