Sunday, January 10, 2016

Cleaning the Wandle January 2016

Trewint Street, Earlsfield. Sunday 10-January-2016

My first clean up for six months! We have been out of London every second Sunday since last July what with various trips at home and abroad. So it was nice to start the New Year being able to go to this clean up.

The start point was the bridge at the end of Trewint Street. Under the bridge was a weir and a fish ladder which were not obvious until you get down into the water.

The rubbish had to be hauled up the vertical banks using rope and grapple. This was a particularly recalcitrant bicycle that took some time and muscle power to haul out of the sludge.

This scooter was hauled out on a previous clean up. Because of the high walls we will leave it there until we have a clean up downstream when it will be dragged along to a more convenient exit point.

It is shallow here but upstream of the weir the water was up to the chest and the bottom was several feet of sludge. Scary to try and walk through so I shamelessly wimped out and hauled myself onto the bank and stayed there.

Last year was nicely summarised by an infographic from Polly, the clean up coordinator.

Clean ups 2015

  • 6.6 km of the Wandle
  • 33 tonnes of rubbish
  • 595 volunteers
  • 2241 hours


  • 13 mopeds
  • 3 safes
  • 255 tyres
  • 18 carpets
  • 21 traffic cones 
  • 13 bikes
  • 3 TV's
  • 4 mattresses
  • 12 trolleys
I must say that I am surprised that it wasn't more supermarket trolleys. Let's see what 2016 can produce.

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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