Sunday, March 22, 2015

Cleaning the Wandle March 2015

Poulter Park, Sutton. Sunday 08-March-2015

The weather forecast was for temperatures in the range 5-8 deg C so I bundled up with thermal long Johns in expectation of a chilly wade in the water. As it turned out the water was only up to our knees and the Spring sun was blazing so in pretty short order I was roasting. It was a glorious Spring day.

Fairly early on we hit a major load of tyres; they were coming out of the river thick and fast.

As well as tyres we had the usual assortment of car parts and general rubbish. Plus several items of plate from some sports club. Someone thought it might be a snooker club. Whatever, some clueless burglar had obviously stolen a load of low value trophies realised they were not solid silver (Duh!) and dumped them.

Meanwhile the tyres kept on coming and coming. I switched to the less glamorous wheelbarrow duty because the in-water crew were pulling them out faster than the bank-side crew could haul them away to the rubbish collection point.

By the end there were around 200 tyres - this was illegal dumping on an industrial scale. A heroic effort by the Wandle Trust volunteers.

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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