There’s a great article about the Wandle river restoration story in the latest issue of The Angler, the Angling Trust’s new-look magazine, which has been dropping through members’ letter boxes over the weekend.
The Angling Trust was instrumental in helping the Wandle Trust to negotiate the 5-year Living Wandle project funding for the river’s restoration, after the notorious pollution incident in 2007, and its Fish Legal team are constantly negotiating and fighting court cases on behalf of other rivers and their local residents.
If you’re already a member of the Angling Trust, keep an eye out for the article. And if you’re not a member, but you enjoy fishing the Wandle and other rivers, we highly recommend joining the Trust and supporting one of the great forces for good in the conservation world!
November 25, 2013 No Comments
The one with the action replay
It was like déjà vu all over again! Here we were at Ravensbury Terrace – again – with a van load of kit – again – but this time a bright Autumn sun shone down on a tranquil river, the torrential rain and murky spate of last month’s cleanup a distant memory.
Eager to help, a record 73 volunteers turned up to tackle 100m of the Wandle up and downstream of the Haslemere Industrial Estate.
We were particularly delighted to welcome Colin and Adele Brown of local estate agents, Seymour Green, who were kindly supporting this month’s cleanup.
About 40 students from the American International University – Richmond Hill Campus – joined our regular volunteers too, and even though they were novices, this didn’t dampen their enthusiasm for or their enjoyment of the event.
With some of the volunteers in the river, others assembled along the bank, ready to retrieve the rubbish as it came out of the river, filling up wheelbarrows and negotiating the rather narrow pathway back to the dumpsite.
Joining us in the water part way through the morning was our old friend Gordon the diver. This made searching for and removing submerged objects much easier, because he, at least, could see what he was doing!
At one o’clock we were more than ready for a break.
Following a baking bonanza, Sally brought ginger cake, Jana used beetroot from her allotment and combined it with chocolate to make a sponge, and Robert produced a beautifully iced carrot cake. Ann’s car wouldn’t start that morning, however, she kept her cool, called for breakdown assistance, and her sultana cake and shortbread biscuits were a triumph.
After lunch we concentrated our efforts on the stretch of water just below the islet that juts out below the Trewint Street bridge.
Everyone worked extremely hard all day:
especially Selena from the American University who, on her quest to find a motorbike, got completely soaked and didn’t have a change of clothes to go home in. What must her fellow passengers on the train have thought!
Our thanks go to Joanna of Wandsworth’s waste management team who arranged collection of all the rubbish. Thanks too to Richard who let us use the loos in the warehouse office, to Gideon who helped load up the van and to AJ who cycled to the garage to help unload.
Thanks to all our volunteers: AJ, Adam, Adele, Alex R, Alex S-S, Alexandra, Andres, Andryana, Ann, Annic, Barry, Bayan, Beatriz, Bella, Ben, Bim, Blendina, Caden, Charles, Colin, Elliot, Emilia, Emily, Flavio, Francesca, Gideon, Harry, Hugh, Jamie, Jan, Jana, Jennifer, Jo, John, Jonathan, Julian, Justin, Katie, Ken, Louise, Luko, Madeleine, Nihan, Noughan, Oceane, Olufunke, Patrick B, Patrick J, Paul, Peter, Philip, Prince, Rayhan, Rob, Robert, Roger, Romina, Rose, Sally, Sally Ann, Sandra, Selena, Shepherd, Simon, Theo, Tim, Tosin, Valentin, Victoria, Vincent , Wally, Wayne and Will.
Who removed: 1 small safe, 1 tumble dryer, 1 electric fan, 1 paintbrush, 1 toy car, 1 toilet, 1 bicycle, 1 office chair, 1 buggy, 1 hanging basket, 1 wheelbarrow frame, 1 air conditioner, 1 child’s scooter, 1 shower curtain, 1 road cone, 1 sink, 1 headboard, 1 metal box, 1 rubbish bin, 1 shovel, 1 lock pick, 1 coal scuttle, 2 coconuts, 2 LCD televisions, 2 exhaust pipes, 2 hub caps, 2 car mats, 2 telephones, 2 hobs, 3 carpets, 3 vacuum cleaners, 3 metal pipes, 4 tyres and 40 rubbish bags full of miscellaneous litter including credit cards, clothes, and shoes.
Oh, and a piece of wood which resembled the head of a rhinoceros.
All photographs: Sally Ann Symis
This event was supported by Seymour Green estate agents
November 17, 2013 No Comments
That’s another two obstructions ticked off the Hogsmill list with fish passage successfully being restored to this stretch of the river. Since the last blog, when the downstream weir was in the process of being removed, things have moved on dramatically. Before I explain what has been done, first a quick good news story. At the top of the stretch a surface water outfall discharges into the river next to the bridge footing. Every day, large quantities of fat and food matter were entering into the river from this due to a clearly misconnected pipe up the system. You can see the severity of this from the photo, although without scratch and sniff you will have to take our word on the pungent aroma. I reported this to our local Environment Agency Pollution Officer and in double quick time they had been out to site and identified the source as being the kitchen sinks in the pub over the road. The pub was unaware of the misconnection and has agreed to rectify the issue by connecting the sinks into the foul sewer and not the grey water. Misconnections are a big problem and cause poor water quality in urban rivers. Click here for help to identify if your house is misconnected.
Back to the main works, with the weir gone, the impounded water drained away revealing the river bed that lay beneath the deep, dark and sluggish water for so many decades. What became immediately clear was the impact that excessive historical dredging has had on the river. The true scale of the river at this point was made apparent. The facade of being a large, deep river was lifted and the reality of the stream which the Hogsmill really is at this point in its journey unveiled. A river, no more than a metre wide snaked its way in the bottom of the 10 metre wide channel. Admittedly the chalk fed source of the river 3.5km upstream will be running low at this time of year but the river looked markedly out of place in the over-sized channel.
Nine rows of chestnut posts were driven in, crossing the channel in shallow curves at regular(ish) intervals down the 90m stretch of river. In total 700 posts were used as I am sure the guys on site will testify to. The introduction of gravel then commenced. Large flints were hand placed behind the posts to prevent washout and maintain the head across each pool. As the deliveries of gravel came in, quantities of these large flints were irregular and lacking. A decision was made to substitute these for more uniform, larger gabion stones which would assure the longevity of the structures. This was also banked up at the outside edge of each line of posts to prevent the river from eroding the banks.
The gravel orders were repeatedly made and delivery after delivery entered the yard. These were loaded onto the tracked dumper and moved to where they were needed in the river before being placed with the excavator. Trip after trip, tonne after tonne, the gravels were moved and introduced. The dredged channel appeared to eat the gravel up without as much as a burp. It rapidly became clear that our 200 tonne allocation was looking decidedly insufficient. Without more gravels the river would be passable, however the habitat would be lacking with wide, deep, sluggish pools similar to that of before. The budget was checked and with a groan it relinquished more funds. By the close of play, 360 tonnes of stone have been introduced and the transformation now complete, although further narrowing and planting would help this stretch further but with budgets as they are this will have to wait.
The upper line of posts has drowned out the bridge footing, providing a depth of approximately 300mm for fish to pass. From here, each ramp reduces the one metre head over the length of the site in approximately 100-120mm increments. The water now flows through the low flow channel in the form of a beautiful, streaming, passable flow.
With the works completed last Friday and with no time to settle in the site was brutally tested by the apocalyptic weather that we experienced at the weekend. With bated breath I pulled up on-site this morning and was pleased to see that it had passed, everything was where it should have been. The river has started to react positively to the works. Deep pools have been scoured out, kicking the gravels up to form shoals and riffles. The varied positioning of the low flow notches in each line of posts are creating a sinuous, meandering channel. Already a mosaic of habitats are being created which will provide the required niches for various inhabitants of the river to occupy. The rubbish strewn, brick filled bed has now been replaced with nice clean gravels. Fish can now freely migrate up and downstream as they choose. A few tweaks will be required to the levels as the river adjusts and settles into its new form but essentially the job is done.
A big thank you to Chris at Woodland Environmental for kindly allowing us to access the river through their site, without this we really would have struggled. Thank you also to Cain Bio-Engineering http://www.cainbioengineering.co.uk/ for helping with the design solution. And a huge thank you to the guys from Aquamaintain (http://aquamaintain.com/), Ben Kavanagh, John Mudd akaNorthern, Nick Gibbo Gibbs’on’ and Keith. They stoically took on every one of the 700 posts, laughed in the face of each of the 370 tonnes of stone and worst of all had to put up with me for a week on site (it beats being in the office). They took pride in their work and have carried out a fantastic job with great effect. If you listen carefully enough you can hear the faint sound of fins clapping in gratitude.
October 21, 2013 1 Comment
The one without the cleanup!
Even though the rain had been lashing down through the night and was still torrential on the morning of our cleanup, the van was loaded up with all the kit and driven to Ravensbury Terrace, in the vain hope that the forecasters had got it wrong and we could still tackle this 50m stretch of litter strewn Wandle upstream of Penwith Road.
And indeed, about 30 or so of our regular volunteers, and a few new ones, braved the elements to come down and check out what was happening.
As we all stood in the car park with the rain dripping down our necks, in spite of us wearing hats and hoods, we witnessed a fast flowing, murky Wandle with the level of water visibly rising, so much so that the concrete divider downstream towards Penwith Road bridge was completely submerged.
Then, suddenly, all sorts of rubbish floated by. We not only counted half a dozen footballs but also logs and pallets too. All this flotsam and jetsam had obviously been dislodged further upstream and was being transported at high speed towards the Thames.
The safety of our volunteers is paramount at the Wandle Trust, so for the first time in cleanup history we decided to cancel the event. This was especially disappointing for the team from Earlsfield-based estate agents Seymour Green who were supporting this cleanup and had been looking forward to it.
In order to get over this setback, there was only one thing for it: we gathered under the wooden gazebo that sits beside the river and broke out the tea, coffee and cake.
Huddled together beneath its roof, enjoying chocolate sponge, a ginger tray bake and delicious biscuits brought by Rob, it was a perfect, if rather soggy opportunity for us to say a fond farewell and a huge thank you to Jo for all the cakes she’s baked for us over the years. With an average 2 cakes per cleanup and having attended more or less 60 cleanups, she’s brought along a staggering 120 cakes over the years, and we’ve enjoyed every crumb!
We will miss her whilst she spends a year or so in China, but she’s promised to stay in touch and let us know what’s happening in downtown Shanghai.
Having made an impressive dent in the refreshments…
… we packed up and headed home for hot baths and dry clothes.
All photographs: Sally Ann Symis
October 17, 2013 No Comments
The Trust is continuing with our mission to improve connectivity for fish passage along the length of the Hogsmill River which flows from Ewell to Kingston.
As a brief recap to the project, the Wandle Trust has received funding from Defra, through the Catchment Restoration Fund, to improve connectivity along the Hogsmill River. This is because fish passage has been identified as being a major contributing factor to the river’s current failing status under the European Union’s Water Framework Directive (WFD). At the start of the project there were 15 obstructions along the 6 mile length of the Hogsmill, resulting in the available habitat, of which much is heavily degraded, being highly fragmented and therefore limiting. This causes bottlenecks at varying life stages, ultimately leading to the survival of the fish species present being compromised and extremely vulnerable.
Following on from the recently completed project in the Hogsmill Local Nature Reserve in the headwaters of the river, where two weirs were removed and the channel renaturalised, we have now moved our focus for the time being to the middle section of the river where two obstructions lie near to the Toby Carvery pub off the Old Malden Lane/Worcester Park Road.
The problem here is twofold. Firstly, as the river flows under a bridge, the concrete footing which is 18m long and 9m wide causes the water to flow incredibly shallow. At the downstream end of this there is a lip with a head drop of approximately 200mm. The combination of these factors forms an obstruction, especially during low to moderate flow conditions.
The second issue is that 60m further downstream there is a weir very similar to those that we recently removed. The weir is 7.5m wide with a concrete apron and sill with a head drop of 0.7m. This is a complete barrier at all times. The river through this stretch has historically been excessively dredged and as a result is over-wide, deep and with all of the gravels having been removed leaving a barren, lifeless clay bed. The project will also address these habitat issues.
The solution that we have come up with, with design advice from Cain Bio-Engineering http://www.cainbioengineering.co.uk/, is to once again completely remove the downstream weir, including the abutment walls. This alone would not rectify the problem. Firstly, the bridge footing would still be impassable but secondly the fall from the bridge footing to the downstream bed level is too large. If left to its own devices, erosion would cause the footing to become undercut and a series of large, impassable cascades being formed.
To remedy this, a series of 8-9 rock ramps will be installed to stabilise the bed and drop the river in 100-120mm increments. This will be achieved by driving in untreated chestnut posts to form a curve from one bank to the other. Narrow gaps will be left between each post and large gravel rejects will be placed upstream of these to essentially create a mini step. The posts will be driven deeper to create a discharge point which will be approximately one metre wide. The positioning of the discharge point will vary from one rock ramp to another to help create a sinuous channel through the reach. The positioning of which will be governed by the current topography which will become uncovered as the downstream weir is removed. The top ramp will be positioned to drown out the bridge footing by approximately 150-200mm to allow fish to pass.
Creating a low flow channel will help to build the river’s resilience to potential climate change. Once the rock ramps are in, gravels will be introduced to narrow the over-wide channel, also creating a low flow channel between each rock ramp. The gravels will additionally provide vital habitat for varying levels through the food chain from plankton to invertebrates to fish.
The Trust has brought in the help of Aquamaintain (http://aquamaintain.com/), a local contracting firm who specialise in all things fishy and watery. The company is run and site managed by Ben Kavanagh, with Northern John, Nick Gibson and Keith making up the team.
One week into the project, things are going very well. The preliminary tree clearance to gain access has been undertaken, a track way has been cut into the bund along the length of the site to transport materials back and forth, and as I left site this morning, the fun bit, the first half of the weir was being broken out. A big thanks also needs to go to Chris of Woodland Environmental who has kindly agreed to grant us access to get to the river through his land.
Further updates to follow shortly.
October 1, 2013 No Comments
In June we reported the news that the River Wandle had won the lottery! This triumph was a £2 million award from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Landscape Partnership Scheme involving 25 projects to be delivered by a whole host of organisations on the Wandle.
The project is going to be ‘launched’ on World Rivers Day – Sunday 29th September 2013 – at Morden Hall Park. All the organisations involved will be there to tell you about the exciting projects that are coming up over the next 4 years.
The Wandle Trust will be leading on 4 projects – A river education programme for schools, a pollution awareness project called ‘River Guardians’, some physical river restoration work which will build on the enhancements already being delivered and a project called ‘Discover the Source of the Wandle’ through which we’ll investigate local features and landscape as well as archived records to look for signs of where the Wandle starts flowing.
Further details on the event, including the event booklet, can be found here.
So come and join us at Morden Hall Park on World Rivers Day and hear about these and other projects (including an invasive species programme, oral history and community theatre projects and the opening up of Merton Priory’s Chapter House). The Wandle Piscators will also be at Merton Abbey Mills that day with a range of activities so why not take a Sunday stroll along the Wandle between Morden Hall Park and Merton Abbey Mills and join thousands of others around the world appreciating their local river on World Rivers Day!
September 21, 2013 No Comments
The work in the Hogsmill Local Nature Reserve has now been completed! The weirs have gone, the abutment walls are no longer and the roar of water plunging over nearly a vertical metre onto concrete has now been replaced with the relaxing, idyllic burbling sound as it flows over clean, imported gravels . The river now boasts naturalised, re-graded banks populated with an array of native riverine plants. All we now need are the fish to start pushing forth into uncharted grounds.
Mystery Weir, as it was affectionately known, is a memory of the past (photos taken from the same point).
And Cracked Weir…
The weirs are rapidly turning into memories of the past. Whilst out on the banks, many people have commented that it is hard to imagine that these stretches have ever been different from their current state. This I believe is a great testament to the great job that Land and Water (http://www.land-water.co.uk/) carried out, lead by Site Manager and all round good egg, Tom Cartmel and his crew of merry men (Tony, Chris, Lee, Kevin, Lorne, Dave, Pete & Buta).
Yesterday, the Wandle Trust and Epsom and Ewell Council’s Countryside Team Volunteers (Sue, Mike, Linda, Roger, Jim, Duncan, Clive and Epsom and Ewell Borough Council (EEBC) staff Stewart and Lindsay) had a very enjoyable day planting the banks with plug plants to include greater sedge, lesser sedge, pendulus sedge, meadowsweet, hemp agrimony and purple loosestrife. With permission in place with the Environment Agency, we also trans-located a variety of large, mature plants from the river nearby which had the ‘Changing Rooms’ effect of instantly finishing the job. With a bit of sun (now that the tree canopy has been opened up) and rain, it is hoped that the vegetation will grow like wildfire. This will not only help to soften and naturalise the sections whilst offering a diversity of habitats but the root structure will be integral to the longevity of the banks.
Volunteers hard at work….
“An army marches on its stomach”
Oh, and as a bonus, Tim and I bagged some handy materials for future projects…
Who would have thought that so much hard work and effort would go into such a project? It certainly has been a journey with various twists and turns, consents to gain, flood risk modelling to model, surveys to measure, plans to design, logistics to sort, bureaucracy to tick, historic ruins to uncover, relationships to build, weirs to remove and plants to plant but dare I say it, job done!
To all those who have helped along the way (in approximate chronological order), Tim, Bella and all others at the Trust, all those at the EA to include Paul Stewart, Peter Ehmann and Ruth Hanniffy, Matt Horritt, Cain Bio-Engineering, Chris Stone and John Adamson at EEBC, Rikki Hill at Surrey County Council for lending us Traffic Cones and in-turn to all the residents of Crosslands Road to whom we caused a great deal of inconvenience by enforcing parking restrictions, Steven Nelson at Epsom & Ewell Historical and Archaeological Society. A big thanks once again to Tom and the rest of the Land and Water crew, the Countryside Team Volunteers, Lindsay Coomber and a huge thank you to Stewart Cocker at EEBC who really has helped above and beyond to get us to where we are today. Thank you! (I really do apologise if I have missed anyone out).
No time to sit back and rest on my laurels, in a week and half we begin the whole process once again on two further weirs one mile downstream. The techniques will vary somewhat, so keep watching this space for updates.
September 13, 2013 No Comments
The one with the combined action of a group of people, especially when effective and efficient (that’s teamwork!)
On a bright, fresh early autumn day, with only a few scattered showers predicted, we returned to Ravensbury Park to clear the river of rubbish and to help the Friends of Ravensbury Park tackle the floating pennywort in the lake.
Among our 48 volunteers were 12 young people from the Challenge Network who, as well as taking part in other activities over the Summer, have been learning about the work of the Wandle Trust and raising money for us.
While a small team of volunteers got into the river at the green bridge and worked their way upstream picking up rubbish as they went…
… the other group, most of whom had removed floating pennywort before, got into the lake.
Using the ‘cut and roll’ technique carried out at previous cleanups, the pennywort was pushed or raked to the platform and then dragged out and loaded onto wheelbarrows. Our volunteers took barrow…
… after barrow…
… after barrow …
of pennywort away from the lake, piling it under the trees where it will rot down. Within a week or two, there will be no trace of it!
Robin particularly enjoyed the experience, launching himself airborne in a sky diving position and landing on a great swathe of floating pennywort – it held his weight though, so tightly woven were the stems and leaves.
In the meantime, Theo and several other volunteers scouted round the edge of the park via the back channel, and retrieved several items of rubbish including a paddling pool from the area where our rock ramp fish pass had previously been installed. Had someone tried to use it as a log flume?
Wet and filthy, we returned to the gazebo where Sally and Jo had produced some delicious food for our annual picnic – our way of saying thank you to all our hard working volunteers. On the menu was bacon and egg pie, as well as a veggie version, chicken and sausages, pearl barley salad and a berry pudding.
Local artist Hana Horack had turned up by then too, and not only encouraged everyone to have a go at painting contributions to her art project, but had also brought a lovely sticky sponge for us too.
Needless to say, there wasn’t much left at the end.
Finally, Stan from Merton Council’s waste management team arrived and loaded up his truck with all the rubbish. Our thanks to him, and Tony for organising collection of it.
Thank you to Charles and Gideon who helped unload all the kit back at the garage.
And thanks to our volunteers: Abi, Barry, Ben, Bim, Carol, Charles, Cimani, Ellie, Emma, Fisayo, Gabrielle, Gideon, Henry, Iftekhar, Jamie, Jan, Jane, Jason, Jo H, Jo S, John N, Josh G, Josh K, Ken, Leonie, Lisa, Lucia, Lyn, Neomi, Nick, Per, Phil, Rachael, Rhiannon, Richard, Rina, Robert, Robin, Rose, Russell, Sally, Shaun, Toby, Theo, Thomas, Tim, Wally and William.
Who removed: 1 coconut (always!), 1 baby’s bath, 1 large piece of foam, 1 golf club, 1 road barrier, 1 football, 1 number plate, 1 umbrella, 1 barbecue, 1 plastic garden chair, 1 tin cooking oil, 1 metal sheet, 1 folding chair, 1 lamp, 1 lampshade, 1 road sign, 1 recycling bin, 1 paddling pool, 1 basket ball post, 1 piece of guttering, 3 metal posts, 4 tyres and 20 bin bags of litter. Not to mention several tonnes of floating pennywort.
September 12, 2013 No Comments
We are now three weeks into the removal of two weirs on the Hogsmill as it flows through the Hogsmill Local Nature Reserve, Ewell. The weather could not have been better for this project. With barely a drop of rain over this period with the dry spell set to continue this week, ground and river conditions have allowed our contractors Land & Water to crack on at a great pace.
The downstream weir, or Mystery weir as it is affectionately known, is nearing completion with all concrete and stone work removed from site. The banks have been lowered, re-profiled and protected with two different techniques, one on each bank. The first, which has been installed on the more isolated bank, is a traditional brash bundle (faggot) approach created from material won by the tree works that have taken place (foreground in the photos below). Behind these is a line of coir matting to prevent wash-out before the banks have vegetated and are self supporting.
On the other bank, which is subject to more footfall due to the nearby public footpath, a more robust technique is being implemented. This involves a three layer method of a polysester Geogrid on the front face with a coir matting acting as the sandwich filling with a geotextile behind, again to prevent washout (far bank in photos).
The upstream weir is coming on leaps and bounds. With significantly less space in the vicinity, work for the guys on site has been a little more convoluted but none-the-less progress is looking great. The brash bundle approach on the far bank is nearing completion and then work on the near bank can commence.
The project has also had an interesting historical twist. Being aware that historic gunpowder mills may be in the area, we had contacted Epsom & Ewell Historical and Archaeological Society in advance. Sure enough, at the first weir the brick remains have been uncovered. Steven Nelson keenly came out to look into the findings equipped with trowel. He has dated them back to circa 1700-1750 and believes that the walls form what would have been the ‘incorporating’ house where the powder was ground before sending to other installations for further processing.
Then, on the upstream weir a further structure was uncovered. This time Steven believes that it is the remains of a Corning Mill building. The remains of this will be left on view as a reminder of the history of the river.
So work will continue this week which, all things going to plan, should see most of the work completed, including the introduction of the gravels which will form riffles and spawning habitat.
Once again a big thanks to the continued hard work of all the guys at Land & Water who are doing a first class job.
August 27, 2013 1 Comment
The one with the battle against alien invaders
Having learned that the Royal Marines have been helping to remove Himlayan balsam from the River Otter, here in the rather cloudy but relatively warm Wandle Valley, we had no problem assembling a platoon of 36 volunteers to bash balsam in the vicinity of Beddington Park. Just like the Royal Marines our volunteers are amphibious, so having donned the requisite uniform of chest waders and gloves, and having received their marching orders via a comprehensive health and safety briefing, our troops were armed and ready to engage the enemy!
Having sent an advanced party ahead on reconnaissance, we divided ourselves into three crack urban commando units: one to march to the top of the river and check whether any HB stands had appeared since last month, one deployed to the terracotta bridge to start pulling stands from there back to Gazebo HQ, and one despatched to just below the road bridge on London Road to work downstream removing balsam stands at the bottom of residents’ gardens on the way to Wilderness Island.
Unit 1, which went back to the top of the river at Richmond Green, were delighted to find only 4 stands of balsam, but did, however, discover a builders’ bag full of gloss paint. This was loaded into the back of the van, and then driven to the meadow in Beddington Park, via Guy Road, to meet Unit 2. Meanwhile, Unit 3 was carrying out excellent work downstream of the London Road bridge under the watchful eyes of Jo H and John L. They wheeled barrow after barrow of the stems back to the car park where it was heaped up ready for collection.
Unfortunately, whilst in Beddington Park, Per got stung below the eyebrow by a wasp. He was immediately ‘casevaced’ by van back to Gazebo HQ where he was treated with antihistamine cream. Following a call to the new NHS line ‘111’ and having been checked out over the phone, he was advised to attend the Wilson Hospital Walk-In Centre in Mitcham. Our thanks go to Sue Bailey who kindly drove him there. He was duly examined, discharged and, and although not technically AWOL, sent a message that he was heading home on the bus!
We all know that an army marches on its stomach and Jo, Sue and Sally provided delicious rations, including a savoury tray bake, a blueberry sponge and raisin flapjacks. This was washed down with plenty of tea, coffee and squash.
Now fortified, we decided to re-advance to contact with the balsam. We went back into the park and discovered quite a few stands in a small wetland area which we pulled up.
So thoroughly did our troops hunt down and remove all the balsam, that we were looking for more of it well before the end of the exercise.
Efficiently and speedily the van was loaded with all the kit, and with a final look at the rubbish removed and the balsam pulled, all personnel were accounted for and stood down for some much needed R & R until next time.
Our thanks to David from Sutton Council‘s Waste Management Team who organised collection of the rubbish and the Himalayan balsam.
Thanks, too, to Michael Kendra who helped load up the van but had other plans so did not join us on the day, and to Charles who helped unload.
Thanks to our volunteers: Ann, Barry, Ben, Bim, Doug, Charles, Hana, Helen, Jan, Janina, Jez, Jo H, Jo S, Jonathan E, Jonathan P, John B, John L, John N, Leonie, Mark, Michael, Mike, Nick, Per, Philip, Rina, Robert, Roger, Rosie, Russell, Sally, Stephen, Sue, Theo, Thomas and Wally.
Who removed: 1 budgie’s cage, 1 sheet of hardboard, 1 builder’s bag full of paint, 2 plastic chairs, 4 tyres and about a tonne and a half of Himalayan balsam
August 21, 2013 No Comments