Monthly Archives: February 2012

Wandle cleanup: February 2012: Merton

The one with the Dons’ silver cup

Bundled up against the freezing zero-degree weather, 41 volunteers descended on the Wandle at Plough Lane to help us tackle yet another 50m of rubbish-filled waterway and litter-strewn Wandle Trail:

Some of our greener volunteers had cycled to the cleanup and tethered their two wheeled steeds to the railings:

Starting under the road bridge and working upstream it wasn’t long before a water logged mattress  was discovered in the river and was hauled up to the rubbish dump on the end of a rope:

There was lots of light litter too, some of it hard to reach in the bramble bushes:

Somewhere under the bridge, American student Eric pulled out a hallmarked silver cup engraved with the words Wimbledon Football Club Snooker Handicap Cup – presented by the Mayor of Wimbledon, Councillor CW Black, JP, 1947

Can it really have been in the water since then?  We’ll do our best to find out and return it to its rightful owners!

In the meantime, we welcomed the chance to warm up with tea, coffee, hot pumpkin, sweet potato and ginger soup… followed by cupcakes, a ginger cake and a  pre-Valentine’s Day chocolate cake complete with pink glitter dusting produced by Sally and Jo:

Jo also brought a bottle of her raspberry gin so that those who weren’t driving could have a nip and keep out the biting cold.  Does this count as one of our five a day, we wondered?


(Don’t forget: these and many more delicious recipes can be found in the Wandle Trust Cookbook volumes I and II – you can buy yours for just £3.50 at cleanups, and all proceeds go towards the work of the Wandle Trust!)

In spite of the near-Arctic conditions our volunteers worked on until 3pm and everything from household items, sports equipment and toys to statuettes of goddesses were retrieved during the rest of the afternoon:

Once the van was loaded up with all the kit and on its way back to the garage in Battersea, most us us departed to thaw out, while volunteer Mark was quick to post his own photo story on his blog Gullible’s Travels!

As ever, we’re very grateful to Tony and Francis of Merton Council’s Waste Management Team who arranged collection of the rubbish pile.

Thanks to all our volunteers:  Andrew, Andy B, Andy P, Bella, Catherine, Charles L, Charles W-S,  Chris, Elizabeth, Eric, Erica, Gearoid, Graham, Helen, Henry, Hugh, Jacopo, Jo H, Jo S, John, Kate, Lucy Sa, Lucy Sh, Mark M, Mark T, Martin, Mel, Moosa, Mike, Nick, Phil, Rachel, Roger,  Sally, Sally Ann, Scott, Stefanie, Theo, Toby, Tom and Wayne

… who collected …

1 silver cup; 1 shopping trolley; 1 push chair; 1 pot of paint; 1 laundry basket; 1 vacuum cleaner; 1 vacuum cleaner hose; 1 dustbin; 1 pallet; 1 credit card; 1 vinyl record; 1 Disney toy candlestick; 1 knife; 1 toy chainsaw; 1 toy lorry; 1 statuette of Shiva; 1 loo seat; 1 car seat; 1 broom; 1 stepladder; 1 tennis racket; 1 mattress; 2 skateboards; 2 coat hangers, 2 bicycle tyres; 4 car tyres; 8 carpets; 10 bags of cans and bottles and 2 tonnes of unidentified rubbish.

Eel tally: 1

Photos: thanks to Sally Ann Symis and Sally Pike

Stripped, dispatched, hatched: Trout in the Classroom 2011 – 12

On Thursday 15 December last year, a car load of likely lads from the Wandle Trust descended on Sparsholt College in Hampshire for a fisheries masterclass: stripping eggs from 5 female trout and milt from 3 male trout, and then mixing the eggs and milt in a big bowl to fertilise the eggs.

They were ably tutored by Alan Black, the man in charge at the hatchery: 

By Thursday 12 January, the eggs were ‘eyed’ and ready to be collected from Sparsholt:

With help from 2 more Wandle Trust volunteers, 200 of the same eggs were delivered to each of the 7 schools taking part in Trout in the Classroom this year.

The children were amazed at how the eggs looked: these Year 5 girls from Furzedown excitedly wondered what was going to happen next…

Within a week to 10 days the alevin (the first stage of a young trout after it has hatched) usually begin to emerge from the eggs.  From then on,  it’s up to the kids to keep the little fry healthy until they release them into the Wandle at the end of March!

Many thanks to our volunteers: Dave, Henry, Jez, John O, John P, and Richard

Book-keeper needed: Can you help?

To help the Wandle Trust continue to deliver a spectrum of successful projects, from Trout in the Classroom to community cleanups and river restoration, we’re looking for a part-time book-keeper for 2-3 days every month.

Working as a freelance contractor, you’ll be paid £15 – £25 per hour, and ideally you’ll already have experience of: 

  • Purchase and sales ledger functions, plus cashbook journals and bank reconciliation
  • Preparing budgets
  • Computerised accounting systems, plus knowledge of Word, Excel and databases
  • Good understanding of funding and grants

The role will include: 

  • Maintaining the accounting records for the Trust (including monthly update for income and expenditure transactions)
  • Undertaking bank reconciliations
  • Reclaiming Gift Aid from HMRC on all donations
  • Providing financial information for grant applications
  • Preparing a draft annual budget and year end accounts
  • Providing financial administrative support to the Trust Director 

Interested? You can download full details by clicking here, and applications close on Friday 24 February 2012.

Planet Earth podcast: Revitalising the Wandle with science

The Natural Environment Research Council recently visited the Wandle to interview the Wandle Trust’s Director Bella Davies (along with our good friends Angela Gurnell, Dave Webb and Tom Sweeney) for the internationally-respected Planet Earth podcast.

Click here to listen to the Wandle’s panel of experts talking about the success of our recent river restoration works in Carshalton (00:29 – 10:20) before moving upriver to Wandle Park (16:05 – 20:24) to discuss the imminent deculverting of the Wandle’s Croydon arm.

A transcript of the programme is also available: click here if you’d rather read than listen!