Monthly Archives: April 2011

Wandle cleanup: April 2011: Sutton

The one with the safe, the Tardis… and 2 extra wheelbarrows!

When we unloaded the van at Culvers Avenue on an extraordinarily warm spring day, we had ambitious plans to clean up round the island and keep going all the way up to Restmor Way, and because 66 volunteers turned up to help, we managed to do it. 

After our usual Health and Safety briefing, we divided our volunteers into 2 groups and tackled both arms of the river around Culvers Island.   All sorts of litter came out of the river at this stage including tyres, bicycles – and Rob’s favourite find of the day, a toy Tardis!

We took a break at about 1 o‘clock for tea, coffee, and delicious cheese scones, hot cross buns, cake and home-made biscuits produced by Sally and Jo.

Suitably refreshed, we worked our way up towards Corbet Close past the coir rolls we’d installed in March 2009:

Just under the road bridge, Jane found a bus stop sign:

We were just about to call it a day when the guys found a safe in the water just below Shepley Mill.  They managed to get it to the bank, where the first attempt to remove it with ropes attached to the towing hook of the scrappies’ truck had to be abandoned because the ropes snapped.  Sheer muscle power brought the safe up the bank…

… before manhandling it up a couple of planks into the back of the truck:

Owing to the distance covered by our volunteers in this single session there were 3 rubbish dump sites, which, thanks to the support of Sandra and the Sutton Council waste management team, made rubbish disposal much easier:

Finally, Abi and Jo gave the trugs a much needed wash before we loaded up the van with all the kit:

Curiously, when we got back to the garage to unload all the equipment, we had 2 more wheelbarrows than we had when we loaded up that morning!

Thanks to all our volunteers: Abi, Amy, Andrew, Andy B, Andy D, Andy P, Andy S, Ann, Barry, Brittany, Christo, Doug, DuRay, Erica, Erin, Hana, Helen, Hugh, Jan,  Jane, Jessica, Jo H, Jo S, John B, John N, Jordan, Judith, Kirstin, Leonard, Leonie, Lia, Louise H, Louise S, Lucy, Lulu, Meryn, Michael, Michelle D, Michelle S, Mike, Namu,  Nick, Peter, Rachel H, Rachel S, Rebecca, Richard, Robert, Roger, Rory, Sally, Sarah P, Sarah W, Sasha, Scott, Shannon, Sophie, Steve, Sue, Susie, Tim H, Tim L, Theo, Toby, Tony and Wayne

… who pulled out:

1 lawnmower grassbox, 1 computer, 1 plastic flowerpot, 1 buggy, 1 bus stop sign, 1 safe, 1 Christmas tree, 1 mattress, 1 clothes drier, 1 sun lounger, 1 vacuum cleaner, 1 horseshoe, 1 toy Tardis, 1 office chair, 1 road barrier, 2 plastic pipes, 2 credit cards, 2 bicycles, 3 road cones, 3 pallets, 4 buckets, 5 tyres, 6 carpets, 22 bin bags and a couple of tonnes of unidentifiable rubbish.  And several rather dead fish – half a dozen bullhead and a dace.

Introducing Erica and Tim

We are delighted to announce that Wandle Trust staff numbers have grown from one to three for the next month or two!  Both Erica Evans and Tim Longstaff have successfully won a Vodafone World of Difference award to work with the Wandle Trust on specific projects. 

Erica Evans

Erica will be familiar to many as the super-organiser of our cleanups and she will now be looking into a revised Supporters’ Scheme for the Wandle Trust which she will set up and launch for us in the coming months (so do look out so that you can join us if you’re not already a member!).

Tim Longstaff

Tim is helping with river restoration projects and we have thrown him in at the deep end and he’s already doing a great job designing habitat enhancements, fish passage easements and managing an eel monitoring project.

Erica and Tim are both writing blogs as part of their Vodafone Awards, so do take a look at Erica’s blog here and Tim’s blog here to follow what they’re up to.