Thursday, February 26, 2015

Cleaning the Wandle January 2015

Wimbledon 11-January-2015.

After missing a couple of clean-ups it was back into the water on a chilly January day just upstream from the last clean up in this stretch in 2013. This had a road bridge over the river so that meant lots of junk in the river as people can lob stuff over the railings.

We had a good number of bikes - it would seem that the yoof of South Wimbledon have nothing better to do than steal each other's bikes and toss them in the river.

Lunch included cheese scones and some very welcome hot tomato soup in the chilly conditions. I was glad I had the foresight to wear my walking thermal Long John's under my jeans but even so the toes were going numb by the end.

When I lived there in the '80s the land across the river was disused sewage works. It is now Wandle Meadow Nature Park and a great improvement it is too. To quote the Merton website:

"A site with a wealth of plant and life, including hawthorn, silver birch, ash, hazel, field maple, dog-rose, blackthorn and many more. Bodies of water are inhabited by a selection of frogs, toads and newts, with no permanent water reserves to provide fish populations."

A much fuller write up of the day from Polly on the Wandle Trust website:

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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