The silt trap in Mill Lane is now in and functioning!
All that can be seen of it is a nice smooth patch of new tarmac and a manhole cover that will be used to clean the chamber every 6 months or so.
Here is a picture of Councillor Hamish Pollock checking out the site of the chamber with Wandle Trust Director Bella Davies last week.
The second chamber on Denmark Road is now well under way and in fact our contractors F.M. Conway will be finished work on Thursday! In contrast to the first chamber everything has gone smoothly with no surprise pipes emerging to slow us down!
This site has an important extra addition in that we have included two monitoring chambers into the design. The surface water pipe first feeds into one inspection chamber then into the silt trap before passing into the second monitoring chamber and then on towards the river.
The silt trap in the ground with the surface water pipe shown in the foreground. This area of open pipe is where the upstream monitoring chamber is located.
The chambers will allow us to monitor the effectiveness of the traps by taking samples before and after the silt trap. This will be carried out using automated sampling apparatus to allow analysis of the water quality and any particulates present.
The access chambers (Two monitoring chambers and one for the silt trap) being built up to road height ready for the manhole covers.
The third and final chamber project which will be located on Butter Hill will start on 17th June.
June 5, 2013 No Comments
The mystery pipe has been identified as a redundant water pipe that was first laid in 1868 and has now been removed. All systems are now go, and the silt trap is being fitted as we speak!
A 3.5 metre hole has been dug:
A concrete slab laid:
The collection chamber inserted:
The hydrodynamic separator inserted:
The road should all be back to normal by Friday, and then it’s on to the next site in Denmark Road on Tuesday!
May 22, 2013 No Comments
The one with the wobbly table leg
Spring had finally sprung as 62 volunteers turned up to tackle the next 50m upstream from a heavily littered stretch adjacent to Weir Road that we had visited in January. In the intervening months, our surroundings had been transformed by all the new greenery on the trees and bankside vegetation!
We were delighted to welcome visitors from the Wandle Valley Forum and the Wandsworth Society for the first time, and they, along with other land based volunteers, got down to some very worthwhile litter picking along the Trail.
Having spotted a burnt-out motor scooter in the undergrowth on the way down towards Trewint Street, a small ‘hit squad’ of volunteers trundled the flat bed trolley along the Trail in order to pick it up and wheel it back to the dumpsite:
In the meantime, Daniel, his Mum, and Tim H scrambled up a steep bank to discover some dumped and burnt-out water cooler bottles…
… and carried four at a time back to the dumpsite. Daniel salvaged a couple of less damaged ones as, apparently, once the tops are cut off, they make good cloches for the garden!
Meanwhile, Claire, Peter and Gideon used a couple of crowbars to try and dislodge a shopping trolley that was firmly embedded in the silt:
Slowly but surely, the small rubbish pile began to grown as more and more items were barrowed, carried and dragged to it, and it looked satisfyingly large when we broke for lunch:
Even though the table bearing the edible goodies Sally and Jo had produced toppled over, much to everyone’s relief, disaster was averted and the cakes were salvaged! Rob brought along a delicious quiche to share too and, suffice it to say, there were only a few crumbs left at the end, which made for very easy washing up.
Back in the river after lunch, and because he was standing in a stretch of water he knew had been searched three months earlier, Per looked a little surprised to find another motor scooter, but with the assistance of three big, strong boys, it was manhandled to the water’s edge, where ropes and grapples were tied to it in order to haul it up the bank:
Tim L was overseeing proceedings, and had to hang on to a tree because the angle of the bank was quite steep:
Finally, as the mid-afternoon clouds gathered, Stan appeared with his grab lorry in order to remove all the rubbish we’d pulled out, making light work of picking up one of the motor scooters and lowering it gently into the back:
Thanks to Henry who turned up with a very shiny new wheelbarrow to donate to us, and, again, to our amazement, we managed to get it into the van for the trip back to the garage. We’re very grateful to Michael and John who helped load up and unload the van.
Our thanks also go to Danny from Merton Council who came and opened the gate at short notice, after we realised that the padlock had been changed since our visit in January, and to Tony and Stan from the waste management team for the organisation and collection of the rubbish pile.
Thanks to our volunteers: AJ, Ann, Arthur, Barry, Bella, Ben, Bim, Bruce, Carol, Carole, Charles, Claire, CP, Daniel, Diana, Doug, Eileen, Gideon, Helen E, Helen O, Henry M, Henry W, Jacques, Jan, Jason, Jo H, Jo S, John L, John N, Julian, Keith, Lee, Leonie, Luke, Mark, Max, Melanie, Michael F, Michael K, Mike, Nick, Nico, Olivia, Paul, Paula, Penny, Peter B, Peter F, Pierre, Rhowena, Rob, Robert, Robin, Rosie, Sally, Shas, Simon, Sue, Suzanne, Tim H, Tim L and Valerie
… who removed:
1 coconut (always!), 1 washing machine drum, 1 piece of corrugated metal, 1 post with a concrete base, 1 tarpaulin, 1 plastic table, 1 plastic pallet, 1 bucket, 1 bicycle wheel, 1 road barrier, 1 beer keg, 1 carpet, 1 tin bowl, 1 loo, 1 shopping trolley, 1 piece of chipboard, 2 pieces of mesh, 2 motor scooters, 3 wooden planks, 4 tyres, 6 scaffolding poles, 7 metal pipes, 20 water cooler bottles, several metres of tubing and about 40 bin bags full of rubbish.
Eel tally: 5
Mitten crabs: 2 male
May 21, 2013 No Comments
At last, the wait is over!
The Vision forms a core part of the Wandle Catchment Plan, outlining our overall aims to improve the River Wandle and its surrounding landscape.
It has been developed in partnership with the local community via a series of workshops and surveys that the Wandle Trust ran throughout spring and summer 2012. This was possibly the largest community consultation to take place in the Wandle valley and the huge amount of feedback and information we received has provided invaluable guidance in the development of the Catchment Plan.
We would like everyone who has participated to have their own copy of the Vision and to learn more about the Catchment Plan. We are mailing copies to all those who provided postal details during the consultation. If you would like a copy and have not already provided your address details, please get in touch by emailing Claire at firstname.lastname@example.org
But this is only the start! We need you to help us spread the word further – whether or not you have been able to participate already. We want as many people to see the Vision as possible.
Are you a member of a local group?
Or are you involved with community events?
Do you run a business in the area that engages with people?
Or do you know of any forthcoming activities (such as walks, coffee mornings or local fairs) that might be interested?
If you can answer yes to any of these, please let Claire know as we’d love to give you some copies of the Vision.
Due to the image-orientated design of the Vision, its large file size means it is not downloadable as a complete document at present. We have created download-friendly PDF page spreads instead and these will be accessible soon, so watch this space if you would prefer an electronic version…
In the meantime, here’s a sneak preview of the four overall aims:
The next step will be to produce an Action Plan. This will support the Vision by detailing what will need to be done to achieve the overall aims to improve the river, now and for the future, and it will guide the many organisations working in the Wandle valley. The Action Plan will feature the advice of technical experts as well as the local community to ensure that the Plan is scientifically robust as well as locally relevant. Together, the Vision and the Action Plan will complete the Catchment Plan.
Work on the Action Plan is well underway and we expect to complete it very soon. It will be a much larger document than the Vision and so we will most likely make this available online rather than printing and distributing it. We will post an update here shortly.
Thanks again to everyone who took part and get in touch if you’d like a copy of the Vision!
May 17, 2013 No Comments
After some detective work involving a number of utility companies the mystery pipe has now been identified as a redundant water main.
This was removed on Friday 17 May but means we are now behind schedule with the works. Currently the aim is that Mill Lane works will be complete by Friday 24 May and we will be ready to start on Denmark Road on Tuesday 28 May.
May 17, 2013 No Comments
Displaying it in a giant ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ – built by James from Assemble – it was the centrepiece of the Wandsworth Arts Festival and Fringe which launched on Friday 3 May on a disused triangle of land on Wandsworth High Street, opposite the Ram Brewery site.
Following an amusing speech by Councillor Jonathan Cook, guests enjoyed live music and pink champagne alongside the opportunity to try their hand at screen printing cloth tote bags. Amongst the designs were a shopping trolley and a list of rubbish, all designed by Gillian from Crafty Pint.
Once printed, they were hung up to dry in some overhanging ivy. Other bits of rubbish adorned the bar, and a child’s bicycle hung upside down from a metal bracket.
Also on display at the Hub was a copy of the Wandle Alphabet – each letter made out of rubbish pulled from the Wandle by volunteers – compiled by our very own dedicated volunteer and local illustrator Jane Porter.
The display runs until 18 May.
May 15, 2013 No Comments
As you may have seen, work started on the silt trap project on Mill Lane, Carshalton on Monday 13 May.
While digging up the road the contractors have found a gas pipe that is in a different location than was shown in the ground radar survey.
This has implications for the location of the silt trap chamber and will result in some delay to the project while this is resolved. There will likely be knock on delays to the work on Denmark Road and Butter Hill as a result. We are working hard with Conways, Southern Gas and the London Borough of Sutton to minimise any potential delay or disruption. We will keep you informed as work progresses.
May 14, 2013 No Comments
Volunteers from the Wandle Trust recently hosted a ‘service day’ for a group of parents, children and young people from the American School in London (ASL).
Assembling at Trewint Street in the sunshine at the end of April, 23 novice but hugely enthusiastic cleaner uppers got stuck in with great gusto. Everyone worked together as a team, removing fly tipped rubbish from the water and from the Wandle Trail. As we progressed upstream, we found the first of four submerged motorbikes.
We managed to get one of them out the river and wheelbarrowed over the bridge to where the cage lorry was parked.
Kevan, husband of Kyra who organised the day, and whose size 15 feet were too big for our size 12 waders – he has since bought his own pair! – was in charge of loading up the lorry.
Then it was lunchtime, and as we sat and munched our picnics, one of the students, Jonathan, gave the assembled crowd a talk on the impact of rubbish in rivers generally, and why they were giving their time to the Wandle in particular.
By the time all the cheese scones, fruit sponge and cupcakes had been polished off, we felt suitably energised to get the three remaining motorbikes out of the water.
Rory and Andy tied three grapples/ropes on to each one, and the rest of us hauled them all up the steep bank and carted them off to the dump site. One, a Honda 1000cc, was particularly heavy, but the wheels still turned making it easier to manoeuvre along the Trail: still, it took 5 burly chaps to do so!
With a final vote of thanks to everyone who attended the cleanup by student Will, we packed up the van and headed off.
Thanks to our volunteers from the Wandle Trust: Andy, Chris, Michael, Mike, Per, Roger and Rory
Thanks to our volunteers from ASL: Caroline, Chris, Clare, David C, David F, Jamie, Jason, Jonathan, Jody, Kevan, Kyra, Kyra Trinity, Leo, Neo, Ray, Robin, Sarah, Staph, Steve, Teymor, Thomas, Trevor, Valerie and Will
And thanks to Terry from Wandsworth Council who turned up with the truck, as well as Joanna and Michael for organising the collection of the rubbish!
We removed amongst other things: 1 tumble drier, 1 chess pawn, 1 shoe, 1 mattress, 1 oil drum, 4 motorbikes/mopeds and hundreds of drinks cans (especially Guinness) – all in all about 2 tonnes or so of wet and filthy rubbish.
May 13, 2013 No Comments
With three rousing cheers and a final farewell, the last of this year’s trout swam off into the waters of the Wandle.
Three Wandle Valley schools – plus about 10 staff and volunteers – congregated in the lovely Morden Hall Park on Thursday 18 April. This being only my third visit to the park, I’m more convinced than ever that it is one of the top parks in London. Much of this is owed to the river itself which casts a magical spell on the surrounding areas.
The gods played their part with their timing of the weather. It was a perfect April day – with bright, warm sunshine but followed by the most torrential rain we’ve seen all year. Fortunately, by the time the rain arrived we were safely inside the National Trust café with our tea and scones, celebrating a successful release and another successful year of Trout from the Classroom to the Wandle!
It was particularly inspiring to see the young children from Greenmeads Primary School in Putney, some of whom had arrived in wheelchairs. They greatly enjoyed getting into the water, and they had also integrated the trout brilliantly into their classroom with displays on the school corridors. A trout demonstration is planned for school assembly next month. Well done to them!
Two Sutton schools took part this year: Orchard Hill College and Culvers House Primary School. Chris from Orchard Hill has done a fantastic job of looking after the fish this year, ending up with around 60 fry, one of the best tallies in what has been a tough year for some of the schools. Chris’s pride in the achievement was, understandably, very tangible!
Culvers House Primary have had a hard year in raising their fish this year with a number of fish kills drastically reducing their numbers. And yet the enthusiasm from the children and the teachers has just been incredible and has never faltered.
When I visited Culvers House to give a presentation on the subject to the assembly, the attention of the young people over 40 minutes was extraordinary – as were the number of intelligent questions they put to me and Chris from Penta Consulting, which generously supported the programme in the school. The core team of children who looked after the tank brimmed with ideas, curiosity and energy – which was brilliant to witness.
We also had a very special guest at our Morden Hall Park event – George Monbiot from the Guardian newspaper. Although I didn’t let on at the time, he is something of a personal hero with his incredibly insightful environmental writing and I was a bit stunned in seeing him turn up. It was also not without some apprehension – knowing that he doesn’t pull his punches.
However, the piece that he wrote was extremely touching and personal and is a wonderful piece of writing. A fly fisherman himself when time allows, it was clear the project had a genuine impact on him. A big thanks goes to Mark and Nick of Project Dirt for setting up the connection.
So well done to the students this year. It has been a fascinating year of learning and experiencing the outdoors on our doorstep – for myself included – and I can’t wait to do it again!
May 2, 2013 3 Comments
The one with the horse’s skull
After what has seemed like months of grey days, the weather on our latest cleanup Sunday was much kinder. With the temperature reaching double figures, 55 volunteers decided to bask in the spring sunshine and come along to tackle the next 100m of river upstream of last month’s cleanup:
Our intention was to work upstream all the way to the Duntshill Road bridge, but we only got about 50m upstream of our entry point due to the amount of rubbish in the water which had obviously accumulated since August 2010, the last time we were here:
Joining us for the day was Director of the Brick Box, Eleanor Barrett, and her partner Drew, on a mission to find more objects to exhibit at the Wandsworth Arts Festival and Fringe – beginning on 3 May – in their Cabinet of Curiosities:
Drew – a diver – donned his dry suit and spent most of the cleanup on his front, getting that bit closer to the submerged rubbish than wader clad volunteers. Our other volunteers soon got into the spirit of this additional ‘treasure’ hunt and singled out some of the more unusual items they pulled out of the river for Eleanor’s consideration, including this horse’s skull and a vintage soda siphon:
Eleanor tweeted photographs of their finds on www.brickbox.co.uk.
Time flew and it was getting on for one o’clock when we stopped to enjoy tea, coffee, cupcakes and a fruit sponge produced by Sally and Jo. South London Press journalist Rebecca Flood stopped by to interview some of us, primarily to find out what draws everyone to our cleanups month after month (it’s the cake!)
After a well earned break, we returned to the river where a number of students from the American International University in Richmond – who attend regularly – demonstrated excellent team work in rubbish removal:
Other people either worked individually…
… or in small teams…
… dredging up discarded items…
… carrying them to the bank…
… or helping to take the rubbish to the truck…
… where Jo H was in charge of loading up…
Check out our volunteer Mark’s report on his Gullible’s Travels blog, too!
We were delighted to make use of our new wheelbarrow, donated to the cause by Jo, complete with a couple of Kiwis and her name painted on one side.
Phil also donated a wheelbarrow, and how we managed to get them both into the van with everything else for the journey back to the garage was nothing short of miraculous!
Our thanks to Terry of Wandsworth Council’s waste management team who turned up early so that we could load the rubbish straight onto the truck as it came out of the water, and to Joanna and Michael who organised the rubbish removal.
Thanks to our volunteers: Abi, Adam, Alastair, Andy, Ann, Anthony, Arthur, Ben B, Ben S, Carol, Charles, Chris E, Chris W, Daniel, Dino, Doug, Drew, Eleanor, Gavin, Leonie, Jacques, James B, James D, Jill H, Jill N, John, Jo H, Jo S, Jordan, Katie, Leo, Lewis, Liam, Mark, Michael, Mike, Nancy, Nick, Nicola, Per, Phil, Philip, Pierre, Rob, Robert, Roger, Rose, Sally, Sally Ann, Theo, Tyra, Valerie, Victoria, Wayne and Zachary
… who removed:
1 carpet, 1 link fence, 1 ‘caution wet floor ‘ sign, 1 birdcage, 1 wardrobe rail, 1 tin bowl, 1 lavatory, 1 child’s tricycle, 1 road barrier, 1 moped, 1 hairbrush, 1 ‘piggy’ torch, 1 ghee can, 1 tennis ball, 1 golf ball, 1 child’s bicycle, 1 saucepan, 1 DVD, 1 football, 1 flowerpot, 1 bowling shoe, 1 typewriter, 1 plastic mermaid, 1 boot, 1 bucket, 1 toy action hero, 1 bicycle frame, 1 umbrella, 1 steering wheel, 1 horse’s skull, 1 soda syphon, 1 plastic revolver, 2 hub caps, 2 half coconuts, 3 bicycle wheels, 3 shopping trolleys, 6 bottles and 9 road cones and a couple of tonnes of unidentifiable junk.
Eel tally: 2
All photographs: Sally Ann Symis
This event was supported by the Western Riverside Environmental Fund
April 25, 2013 No Comments