Tag Archives: Waterside Way

Wandle cleanup: August 2017: Merton

The one with Nick Hale…

Apologies for the slight delay with our August cleanup blog – but we went from the cleanup straight to some river restoration in Morden Hall Park – it’s been a busy couple of weeks! You’ll be able to read about that adventure soon, but on with the cleanup…

August saw us return to Waterside Way in Wimbledon. This site is still full of rubbish and will be a regular site for some time to come considering how little distance we manage to cover each time. We were joined this month by Nick Hale, another Wandle Trust Project Officer who came along to experience our famous cleanups. After the usual health and safety briefing, we got stuck in.

The waders got in the river just upstream of where we finished back in March. As they filled their first trug load, my team on the bank were getting bored, waiting for something to do. I suggested they enjoyed the peace while it lasted – this was Waterside Way, after all!

And like clockwork, trug after trug was filled and the bank team soon missed the easy start they had.

The first large find was a lorry/bus tyre, shortly followed by 5 other car tyres.

Next, a bicycle was found. Not in great condition, but as Nick still doesn’t have a bike for his London to Brighton cycle ride (raising money for the Wandle, you can sponsor him here), it might be the best he’s gonna get!

A few minutes later, I was given perhaps the creepiest gift from the Wandle yet – this doll.

After a quick lunch break, we moved further upstream, but only by 10 or so metres. Here we found the classic coconut.

Some toys, including a scooter and steering wheel

And some large carpets which were extremely heavy as we pulled them up the bank.

After 4 hours of hard work, we finally called it a day and packed up the van.

So what did we find?  1 licence plate, 1 Frozen scooter, 1 road barrier, 1 moped pannier, 1 dashboard, 1 lighting rig, 1 bike, 1 creepy doll, 1 cassette tape, 1 lorry tyre, 1 traffic cone, 1 disposable BBQ, 2 coconuts, 2 stereos, 2 large carpets, 3 toy cars, 5 car mats, 5 tyres, lots and lots of miscellaneous fabric and bags and bags of other rubbish.

Huge thanks everyone who helped unpack and pack up the van during the event, Rosie for supervising the Event Tent and for helping me and Nick back at the garage, and the Waste Team at Merton Council for organising collection of all the rubbish the next day.

A a big thank you to all our volunteers for coming: Abdul, Andy, Beth, Carlos, Charles, Christine, Claire, David H, David S, Derek, Freya, Geoff, Gideon, Guy, Jane, Joanne, John N, Kathy, Keith, Lisa, Mark B, Melanie, Nick, Paul, Phil, Rob, Rose, Sheila, Steve B, Stewart, Sue, Thomas, Wally and Will.

So what did I learn from this month’s cleanup? Waterside Way is going to take us a while to clear…

Wandle cleanup: March 2017: Merton

The one where we barely moved 15 metres!

For March we headed to Waterside Way – a site we started to tackle last year and only managed to move 10 m before we had filled a rubbish lorry! This time was no different…

One by one, everyone arrived on site and then after the Health & Safety briefing we got started. We headed downstream to where we finished the last time we tackled this site. As soon as we arrived we saw the opposite bank was covered in rubbish and we just couldn’t leave it that way. Waders got in, waded across the Wandle and then climbed up the bank to tackle the fly-tipping.

Fly tipping on the Wandle Bank

It didn’t take long before the bank support team was overwhelmed with rubbish and we had to gather extra recruits from the litter picking team.

IMG_4462

One of the first big finds was a roller. Although very heavy, it was designed to roll and so getting it up the bank couldn’t be too difficult, right? Turns out, yes it could!

Roller

Next, a mattress was found in the Wandle which proved trouble for the waders and bank support alike. Having absorbed so much water and silt, the mattress was extremely heavy and getting it up the bank revetment and then up the steep bank was near impossible.

mattress

Derek used his magical powers to sense rubbish hidden below the silt. With everyone on the rope, the mystery object was pulled free and the trolley was heaved by the bank. Shame the wheels didn’t work to get it back to the rubbish pile!

IMG_4545

IMG_4630

At lunchtime we headed back to the tent for some cake and drink, as well as shelter from the rain. We had some lovely homemade cakes which went down a treat. With the rain not stopping, we decided to get back to the river and finish what we’d started.

IMG_4658

After lunch, Derek found yet another trolley deep under the silt. With several people on the rope, we managed to pull this one free and get it up the steep bank as well.

IMG_4769

IMG_4776

IMG_4780

Another challenging find was this metal water tank/safe – full of silt and very difficult to attach the ropes to!

IMG_4801

At the end of the day everyone was wet, the rubbish pile was sky high and so we called it a day for another Wandle cleanup.

IMG_4869 IMG_4871

So what did we find?  1 mattress, 1 roller, 1 jump lead, 1 safe, 1 coconut, 1 skateboard, 1 back of a TV, 1 computer monitor, 1 flatbed trolley, 1 tape player, 1 traffic cone, 2 trolleys, 3 bike tyres, 4 car tyres, 7 carpets, 10 car mats, lots of piping and wood, many, many plant pots and much more rubbish.

Huge thanks to everyone who helped unpack and pack up the van during the event, Ann for supervising the Event Tent and for baking some treats, and the Waste Team at Merton Council for organising collection of all the rubbish the next day.

We’d also like to say a big thank you to Richard from The Burly Photographer, who came and took some great photos of our event!

Thank you to all our volunteers for coming:  Aaron, Abbas, Andy, Ann, Anna G, Anna H, Bhadresh, Charles, Chris, Claire O, Claire W, Dave, David, Derek, Doris, Ed, Felix, Grayatri, Guy, Jane, Jason, Jiya, John, Lisa, Lucinda, Maciek, Merel, Mike, Natasha, Per, Phil, Richard, Rob, Sheila, Sonny, Steph, Stewart, Trevor, Uri, Varshan, Ved, Victor, Vishali, Wally, Will H and Will W.

So what did I learn from this month’s cleanup?   That if you forget your coat and it rains, a bin bag makes an excellent waterproof.

IMG_4671

Wandle cleanup: October 2016: Merton

The one where the rubbish didn’t stop coming

For our October cleanup we ventured to a new site for myself, but one that had been done in the past when Erica ran the cleanups – Waterside Way.

Waterside Way is the half way point between Plough Lane and Merton High Street, meaning we could clean further down the Plough Lane stretch than we had reached before. The fact that we hadn’t been there for a number of years was very obvious once we got started…

The wading team walked 100 m downstream and got into the river. Instantly, large items were found and piled up on the side – the bank support team didn’t stand a chance!

Cleanups

Shopping baskets, bed springs, carpets, car seats, car bumpers – all within a stretch less than 10 m long.

Cleanups

The rubbish came out so fast that we ended up asking some waders to hope out and help shift the rubbish from the bank to the rubbish pile back on Waterside Way.

Perhaps the “Find of the Day” was our creepy baby manikin – just in time for Halloween…

img_1962

By lunchtime, everyone was exhausted and so we headed back to base for some tea and carrot cake (kindly baked for us by Ann). Even creepy baby joined us for some tea.

img_1972

After lunch, we got back to it. With so much rubbish coming out, we were glad for the extra help from students from Richmond International University University – helping us ferry the rubbish back to base.

img_1970

Throughout the cleanup, carpets were the most prominent find with over 20 found in our short 50 m stretch. These took a lot of man power to get out as they had become part of the river bed, trapping silt and allsorts.

img_1982

At the end of the day, everyone got out on the banks and helped to carry the surplus of rubbish back to the pile. And what a pile it was!

img_1991

So what did we find? 1 flymo, 1 bed spring, 1 hanging basket, 1 creepy baby manikin, 1 shoe, 1 clothes horse, 1 lino sample book, 1 car bumper, 1 keyboard, 1 mop, 1 dustbin, 1 cooker hob, 1 TV, 1 tyre, 1 bicycle frame and tyre, 1 giant pipe, 2 hose pipes, 2 car seats, 2 shopping baskets, 2 microwaves, 2 toasters, 4 stereos, 3 traffic cones, 3 umbrellas, 15 spray glue cans, 20+ carpets and piles and piles of wood planks and other rubbish.

We also saw an eel and a frog!

Huge thanks to the Living Wandle Landscape Partnership for funding the event as part of the River Guardians projects, everyone who helped unpack and pack up the van during the event, Dave and Louise for supervising the Event Tent, Wally for helping supervise the cleanup, and the Waste Team at Merton Council for organising collection of all the rubbish the next day.

Thank you to all our volunteers for coming: Alex, Alison, Amelia, Andy, Ann, Charles, Cheyenne, Chris, Claire, Danny, Dave, David, Davis, Ed, Gary, Guy, Jane, Jason, Julia, Kaitlynn, Kamillah, Keith, Kristina, Louise, Marley, Nick, Niyin, Phil, Richard, Rob, Shivani, Steve, Stewart, Sue, Thima, Wally, Wayne, Will and William.

So what did I learn from this month’s cleanup?  That our cleanup effort was just the start, we will need to come back to Waterside Way!