Reg. Charity No. 1091000

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New Position: Senior Projects Officer (River Restoration)

New position available with the South East Rivers Trust!

We’re looking for an experienced Senior Projects Officer with a specialism in delivering physical river and catchment enhancement work. The role will involve delivering a suite of river enhancement projects including weir removals, river habitat enhancement and riparian management across the south east.

Further details can be found here: SeniorProjectsOfficer_RiverRestoration_JobDescription and an application form here: SeniorProjectsOfficerRiverRestoration_Application.

To apply, please submit your CV (2 pages maximum) together with a completed application form by 9am on Tuesday 9th June 2015.

May 18, 2015   No Comments

Could you be our new Catchment Manager?

We’re recruiting!

We’re looking for an enthusiastic, natural leader with a good level of knowledge of river and catchment enhancement techniques.  The role will support new and existing partnerships across the South East Rivers Trust area, bringing people and organisations together to identify and discuss catchment issues and develop projects to tackle them.

Further details can be found here: CatchmentManager_JobDescription; and an application form here: CatchmentManagerApplication.  If you would like to apply, please submit your CV (2 pages maximum) together with a completed application form by 12 noon on Thursday 4th June 2015.

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May 15, 2015   No Comments

Beddington Park: Add Your Voice!

This year there is a Heritage Lottery Fund project to restore Beddington Park, including the lakes and the River Wandle. The Wandle Trust have been involved in developing the bid with Sutton Council, providing expertise and guidance.

If you’re a user of Beddington Park or live close by, please take the time to complete this short survey to add your voice to how you use the Park and how you’d like to see it improved!

Click here to take the survey

May 14, 2015   No Comments

Wandle cleanup: May 2015: Merton

The one with 20 oranges…

The sun was shining in all its glory for our May cleanup at North Road in Wimbledon. We had 38 volunteers join us for this month’s cleanup which was supported by the Living Wandle Landscape Partnership funded by the National Lottery’s Heritage Lottery Fund.

I started the cleanup with a quick talk on misconnections on the River Wandle. Most houses are served by two separate sewage systems, one for rainwater and one for waste water which is sent to the sewage treatment works. A misconnection is where an appliance such as the washing machine has been connected to the wrong sewage system, meaning untreated waste water is being discharged into the river instead of going to the sewage treatment works.

Connect Right

It is estimated that 300, 000 properties are currently misconnected in the Thames Catchment – a lot of unwanted pollution entering our rivers. In the summer there tends to be less rainfall meaning that misconnections are easier to spot in the river. We have volunteers hunting these down for us. To find out more about misconnections and to check your property, visit the Connect Right website.

The cleanup got underway after this, dividing into our usual teams with waders and their bank support, and litter pickers. Knowing there were lower rubbish levels (thanks to some of our recent cleanups in this area!) our wading team took a long walk down the bank before getting into the river. Meanwhile our litter pickers dispersed across Wandle Meadow Park and the nearby areas.

Waders Wading

 

Wading

Wading

We immediately started finding all sorts in the rivers: tyres, traffic cones, beer cans and bottles. We even found an orange which we all found rather amusing. However, only half an hour later our orange count had gone up to 17 – something we didn’t see coming!

Oranges

It wasn’t long until I received my first present from our waders in the form of a toy car and what we believe to be a snail flower pot.

Snailpot

Our litter pickers were also incredibly busy having discovered the aftermath of a confetti cannon – hundreds of gold bits of foil scattered in the park. A painfully slow job but they managed to pick it all up!

By lunchtime we were all very hot and welcomed a glass of squash and a piece of cake, kindly baked for us by Sally and Ann.

After lunch everyone got back to work and we moved even further up the river, under North Road bridge. Here a trolley was discovered – a classic Wandle find.

Wandle Trolley


We also found an oil drum..

Oil Drum

A huge and cumbersome piece of metal

Metal

And here is the final rubbish pile…

Rubbish Pile

So a BIG thank you to all our volunteers who came and we look forward to seeing you at the next one on June 14th!

So what did we find?  1 mattress, 1 toy soldier, 1 snail flowerpot, 1 toy car, 1 shopping basket, 1 bike, 1 iron, 1 carpet, 1 for sale sign, 1 bra, 1 quilt, 1 basketball hoop, 1 hoover head, 1 trolley, 5 traffic cones, 11 tyres, 20 oranges and 35 bags of other rubbish!

Huge thanks to everyone who helped pack up van after the event, Sally and Ann for catering for our volunteers, Wally and Lawrence for helping supervise everyone on the day and the Waste Management Team at Merton Council for organising collection of all the rubbish the next day.

Thank you to all our volunteers for coming: Aaron G, Aaron P, Ann, Bella, Charles Chris, Daniel, Dave, David H, Dennis, Derek, Felix, Gary, Ged, Gemma, Ian, Joe, John, Julia, Keith, Ken, Lawrence, Luke, Margie, Matylda, Oliver, Patrick, Penny, Per, Peter, Richard, Rob, Rose, Sally, Stella, Stewart, Theo and Wally.

So what did I learn from this month’s cleanup?  That it is easy to get sunburnt when supervising from the bridge!

May 14, 2015   No Comments

Monitoring Madness

Olly and I have taken a successful sample set from one of our Downstream Defender silt traps in Carshalton and the results look promising…

In 2013 we installed a suite of 3 Downstream Defenders as a pollution prevention method, cleaning surface water before it enters the river. This week has seen a few periods of extreme rain downfall and Olly braved the weather to look at the effect on the river.

As we know, rainwater is collected off our roads and channeled into the river by our surface water drains. Unfortunately with the rainwater goes all the other contaminants from the roads. This causes a first flush of pollution down the Wandle.

FirstFlush black wandle

Our Downstream Defenders are designed to reduce the severity of this first flush by removing some of the worst of the pollutants before they enter the Wandle.

Today we took samples of the water upstream of one of our Defenders (before) and downstream (after) to see what difference it is making to the water quality. The samples have been sent off to the lab and will not be back for a couple of months, but for now look at the difference in colour alone!

DOWNSTREAM DEFENDER

 

May 7, 2015   No Comments

Wandle cleanup: April 2015: Wandsworth

The one with moped, after moped, after moped, after moped… you get the idea.

For April’s cleanup we were back at Trewint Street, a trusty location for some big rubbish items. This month’s cleanup was kindly supported by Seymour Green Estate Agents, and the Living Wandle Landscape Partnership Scheme, funded through the National Lottery Heritage Lottery Fund.

Getting ready

We kicked off the cleanup in the usual style and divided into 4 teams. The first team were in charge of removing two motorbikes from the river I had spotted the week beforehand, so armed with grapples and crow bars they set off.

Moped one...

The second team were also wading, but downstream of Trewint Street bridge where there was a fresh batch of rubbish to remove.

Waders

The third team provided the usual much needed bank support and finally Team 4 headed off to tackle the large pile of fly tipping on the Wandle Trail. And with almost 60 people at our cleanup – we were ready for a busy day.

Fly-tipping

No sooner had everyone got started, the motorbike team were pulling out mopeds with some pace. Turns out there were more than just the two spotted the week before. By lunchtime, 8 had been pulled out of the Wandle and we called the local police in to check the number plates.

Moped 2

Heave ho!

Our fly-tipping team were making a huge difference, removing junk wood, household objects and building waste from the large pile on the Wandle Trail. They even found a trolley which came in handy when moving the bikes.

Moped 3?

Just before lunch, the Mayor of Wandsworth, Stuart Thom, came to visit all the volunteers and see the enormous amount of rubbish we were finding.

The Mayor

By coffee time, everyone was ready for a break. The rubbish pile was already huge and it was clear we were going to break a record at this cleanup. This month’s cakes were baked for us by two new volunteers – Ida Nyander Soderhielm and Tatiana Von Gaisberg.

The afternoon saw yet more rubbish and more mopeds….

Moped 4?

Moped 5/6?

And another

So what did we find? 1 ladybug toy, 1 trolley (classic), 1 set of Christmas lights, 1 bowl, 1 radiator, 1 extension chord, 1 umbrella (not much use now), 1 mermaid painting, 1 scooter, 1 sports bag, 1 TV, 1 football, 1 orange tilt, 2 prams, 5 rugs, fencing panels, wooden pallets, 3 chairs, 3 tyres, 9 mopeds, loads of wood and around 80 bags of rubbish.

Huge thanks to those who helped me pack up and unload at the end of the day and to Jamie who kindly came to the garage with me;  Tatiana and Ida for catering for our volunteers; Wally and Chris for helping supervise everyone on the day and the Waste Management Team at Wandsworth Council for organising collection of all the rubbish the next day.

Thank you to all our volunteers for coming: Aaron, Adele, Aimee, Carol, Charles, Charlotte, Chris, Colin, Daniel, David H, Derek, Diana, Geroid, Hannah, Howard, Ida, James, Jamie, Jason, Jo, John N, Kate, Lea, Leigh, Luisa, Marco, Margie, Mays, Mhairi, Mike, Nicky, Oliver, Penny, Per, Pip, Richard, Rob, Russell, Sarah, Serena, Simon, Sue, Sumi, Tatiana, Tia, Victoria, Wally, Wayne, Will and William.

So what did I learn from this month’s cleanup?  That you never know how many mopeds are lurking in the Wandle waters.

Eel tally: 4

SeymourGreen

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May 7, 2015   No Comments

Rivers & Wetlands Community Day: Friday 27 March

I have had a very exciting last two weeks at the Wandle Trust having spent more time outside in the river than in the office – lucky me!

On Friday we had our second Rivers & Wetlands Community Day with 15 volunteers joining us out in the sunshine. Tim had stored up a very long to do list since our previous Rivers & Wetlands Community Day in October last year where we added 2000 plants to the restored section of the Wandle at Butter Hill in Carshalton.

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Firstly we had to add 500 native marginal plants to the newly restored section on Mill Lane. As always, we ordered a variety of different species so we could create a natural marginal community on the banks of the Wandle. Species included ragged robin, water mint, sedges and purple loosestrife.

Planting

Meanwhile, some of our volunteers tackled the invasive non-native Canadian goldenrod (Solidago canadensis)which had established on the banks of the Wandle. Canadian goldenrod produces dense stands which out-compete native species, reducing habitat diversity. We caught it early in the season when it was just coming through as small purple tinted shrubs. You can see how dense the root system is in the image below.

Canadian goldenrod

There had been a fair bit of fly-tipping since October that we were keen to tackle, so a team of us ran a mini cleanup while the planting was going on. Some highlights included a bed frame, a motorbike at Hackbridge and a car seat. In total, 40 bags were collected which is almost the number we get on a regular cleanup!

Litter picking dream team

Next on the agenda was raking and seed sowing; coppicing and pinning in some Large Woody Material which had fallen into the river.

Woody Debris

Altogether it was a busy day and we couldn’t have got it all done without our volunteers.

So thank you all for coming: Aaron, Andy, Charles, Dave J, Dave W, Derek, Geoff, James, John, Lorna, Mike, Steve, Sue and Wally.

Rivers & Wetlands Community Days

May 1, 2015   No Comments

Welcome to our new Invasive Species Officer!

We’d like to give a warm welcome to our latest recruit Alan, our new Invasive Non-Native Species Officer!

Polly and Alan

We’ve stolen Alan from Scotland where he was working on Argyll’s three National Nature Reserves for Scottish Natural Heritage. Before this Alan was in Cape Town, South Africa, controlling invasive species in the metropolitan area so he has a wealth of experience.

Alan is running an invasive species project on the River Wandle as part of the Living Wandle Landscape Partnership. The project aims to map invasive species along the Wandle corridor and set up management plans and volunteer teams to work towards eradication.

Alan will be tackling a wide variety of invasive non-native species including some well-known faces such as Himalayan balsam, Japanese knotweed and giant hogweed.

Himalayan balsam

To get started, Alan has been taking a refresher in Pesticide Application along with Polly our Volunteer Officer. Here is our invasive species ghost busting team…

INS

So who you gonna call?

Alan and Polly!

Photo Credit: Himalayan balsam, GBNNSS

April 28, 2015   No Comments

Ravensbury Back Channel: The final touches

Two weeks ago, we spent three days back at our Ravensbury Park Back Channel project to finish off the works.

Day 1

Day 1 was spent preparing a site for 2000 plants which were due to arrive the following day.  Our loyal volunteers arrived expecting an easy day of planting and instead we surprised them with spades, shovels and a huge pile of soil! We needed to create a gentler slope on the bank and to do that involved some serious work. But with visions of tea and cake we soon got stuck in and the bank started to take shape.

Luke working hard

Meanwhile, we also had a team putting up bird boxes in the area. These bird boxes have been designed with grey wagtails in mind, a bird which you can often see skipping along the back channel.

The Bird Boxes

The day ended with a pilot test of our bat boxes. We have brought five bat boxes to put up in the area. They are odd looking things with flat wood and small crevices between for the bats to roost in – almost like a bat multistory car park! With wire and a ladder, Luke and the volunteers tried to install the first one to perfect the technique ready for the next day.

A Bat Multi-Storey Car Park

Day 2

Day 2 soon came round with slightly improved weather and all 2000 plants had arrived! We ordered a variety of species – some were to be planted in the water, and others would be added to the banks such as lesser pond sedge and reed canary grass. All together these would make a great marginal community of native plants.

2000 Plants

We had 2 sites to plant up so we divided the trays into piles of different species – one pile for each site. Our 9 volunteers then headed off to site number 1 armed with dibbers, waders and gloves.

First site all planted up

By lunchtime, the site was finished and everyone was ready for tea, coffee and cake.

A planted plant

After lunch we moved onto site 2 and decided to focus on the plants that needed water so they were in before we had to leave for the day. So it was wader time again…

Day 3

On our third and final day we were joined by 5 volunteers to do the last bits of the project. First we all focused on the final 1000 plants – and even I had the chance to get involved!

Planters at work

Louise from the Living Wandle Landscape Partnership team couldn’t resist coming for a visit and doing some planting as well.

Louise planting away

The pile slowly got smaller and after a quick lunch break we had all 2000 plants happily installed in their new homes.

Yet more planting

The next job was raking and seeding the bare ground with wildflower and grass mix. It was a great 3 days out in the field and a big thank you to all the volunteers who came to help!

The finished work

A big thanks to Lawrence who helped run the event with Luke and myself.

Thank you to all our volunteers for coming: Barbara, Charles, Dave, Jason, John, Lawrence, Maureen, Mike, Neil, Nick, Rob, Tim and Wally.

Next week – Wimbledon Common and the Beverley Brook!

 

April 14, 2015   No Comments

Wandle cleanup: March 2014: Sutton

The one with 200 car tyres 

So March saw us return to Poulter Park in Sutton for a spring clean. Our event was supported by the Big Green Fund, with 48 volunteers attending to litter pick, wade and plant trees in the park. It was a busy busy day!

What’s the Big Green Fund?

With so many jobs to do we divided into 3 teams: waders and their support, litter pickers and tree planters. Peter Wilkinson (BGF Project) led the tree planters armed with spades (which I have learnt are different from shovels) and over 200 tree saplings to the chosen sites marked out with paint.

Planting Areas

Meanwhile litter pickers were dispatched and waders hopped in the Wandle with team leader Theo. Pretty soon our wading team discovered a shocking number of tyres in the Wandle. It started with 5 being pulled out, which was crazy enough. But every time I came back to check on everyone there were more and more. The total at lunch was close to 60!

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As well as tyres we found other car parts including 2 car seats, a dashboard and licence plate. Which gave us an idea….

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The litter pickers had their work cut out with bottles, cans and crisp packets carpeting the undergrowth in the park. By the time we stopped for lunch the rubbish pile was already one of the biggest yet and the park was looking much cleaner already. Sally made us a delicious Easter cake with mini eggs on top and Jana brought a homemade ginger cake and cupcakes; all of which we were very grateful for. And one of our volunteers was prepared with a Chinese takeout for their lunch!

Chinese takeout!

After lunch we got right back to it. The tree planters finished off their third area having planted a total of 210 saplings. They then joined to help shift all the tyres we were finding. We never got an exact count but it was over 200! We all had different tactics to get the tyres to the rubbish pile. Some used wheel barrows, some carried two like body builders and some rolled them all the way there.

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Although the tyres were the star of the day, we made several other discoveries including a set of 3 silver trophies!

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By 3 o’ clock we were exhausted and ready for home so we packed up the van and left the huge rubbish pile and 200 tyres for Sutton Council to collect in the morning – many thanks to them for organising this for us.

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So what did we find? 1 net, 1 table leg, 1 coffee machine with instructions, 1 boat oar, 1 diving shoe, 1 pram, 1 gas meter, 1 car dashboard, 1 watering can, 1 bucket, 1 tool kit minus the tools, 1 traffic cone, 2 stuffed animal toys, 3 trophies, 4 car seats, several bits of scaffolding, lots of random metal and piping, fencing, 50 bags of other rubbish and a record breaking 200 tyres!

Huge thanks to Michael who met me in the morning to load up the van;  Sally and Jana for catering for our volunteers; Theo and John for helping supervise everyone on the day and the Waste Management Team at Sutton Council for organising collection of all the rubbish the next day.

Thank you to all our volunteers for coming: Aaron, Abi, Alan, Alex, Barry, Bruno, Charles, Chris, Claire, Dave, David, Derek, Elliott, Gearoid, Helen, Ian, Jamie, Jan, Jana, Janet, Jason, Joe, John B, John L, John N, Ken, Lauren, Lloyd, Mark, Michael B, Michael H, Nicola, Per, Rob, Rose, Sally, Stewart, Theo, Tom, Tony and Victor.

So what did I learn from this month’s cleanup?  That you never know what surprises the Wandle will have in store for you.

 Eel tally: 1

April 13, 2015   2 Comments