Thursday, December 19, 2013

Cleaning the Wandle December 2013

Garfield Road, South Wimbledon, London. Sunday 08-December-2013.

I was glad to be able to make this clean up as I used to live in Garfield Road ('86-'94) and it was here that I first met the Wandle. My commute into the city involved a walk to Colliers Wood tube on the Northern Line along Wandle Bank past Wandle Park. I used to look at the junk dumped in the river and shake my head in wonderment at the asocial nature of some people. "Take your litter home" is part of my emotional bedrock.

We dragged the usual junk out of the river; instead of the typical coconut shells (there is a local Hindu temple) we found an actual Ganesha (elephant-headed Hindu god).


An innovation for the Wandle Trust gazebo was a gas powered urn so the lunchtime drinks were made with freshly boiled water. It may not seem much but it makes a difference on a cold day if, like me, you are partial to a cup of tea - it is so much tastier when made with properly hot water.


Some debris is particularly bothersome - carpet, mattresses (as above) and duvets - because of the weight of water their sodden bulk retains. That requires team work, a rope with grappling hook and ...


... plenty of onlookers.


We dragged out the usual couple of tons of cr*p out of the river. Fortunately the council lorry had a grab to lift some of the heavy stuff. Usually there is a lot of manual handling involved.


Merry Christmas. Ho, Ho, Ho!


Full set of photos on Flickr:

Wandle Trust logo

The Wandle Trust is an environmental charity dedicated to restoring and maintaining the health of the River Wandle and its catchment. They hold community river cleanups on the second Sunday of every month, up and down this unique urban chalkstream – pulling out everything from shopping trolleys to shotguns, and improving the environment for birds, fish, insects and local people. For more visit:

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