Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Cleaning the Wandle July 2012

This month the venue was Beddington Park and the theme was Himalayan Balsam - an invasive species which smothers indigenous plants and causes river pollution through soil erosion. See the Managing invasive non-native plants booklet from The Environment Agency. It was also the month for the annual picnic.

 Wandle July 2012 - Himalayan Balsam 01

It took me so long to cycle down from Wandsworth Town that all the waders were gone leaving only wellies and so I was, again, land based. Given the recent rainfall the river was in full flood and, for a while, there was doubt as to whether anyone would be going in the water on safety grounds.

Wandle July 2012 - Himalayan Balsam 02

In the end it was deemed safe enough so the waders harvested whilst I and the other bank-siders gathered up and carted away.

Wandle July 2012 - Volunteers and Trugs

Much of the gathering was done using garden muck buckets and old, industrial plastic barrels cut in half and fitted with tow ropes. By the end we had a fair old pile of Himalayan Balsam and the river looked a lot clearer.

Wandle July 2012 - Himalayan Balsam 03

As it was the annual picnic we worked a longer morning session and called it a day at one-thirty so we could have our picnic lunch.

Wandle July 2012 - Picnic lunch

Amongst the volunteers was Derek Coleman co-author of the newly published "River Wandle Companion and Wandle Trail Guide" so I snapped up a copy and got it autographed.

 Wandle July 2012 - Derek Coleman

On the way back I was amused by a pair of nesting moorhens who had incorporated an old chair into their nest (or maybe it had washed up against their abode).

Wandle July 2012 - Moorhens

A cycle home followed a soak in the bath...

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