Author Archives: Lucy Norris

Wandle Cleanup: August 2019: Wandsworth

For this month’s cleanup we headed to Ravensbury Terrace, where the Wandle forms the boundary between the boroughs of Wandsworth and Merton.

As usual, once everybody had arrived, we did a quick Welcome Talk and Health & Safety briefing. Earlier in the year, we had to cancel the cleanup at this particular site due to bad weather, so luckily the storm earlier in the week did not cause the river levels to rise too high, and we were able to go ahead. On the day the weather was windy but lovely and sunny – perfect for wading!

We had a total of 29 volunteers this month working together wading, pulling rubbish out from the river and litter picking the banks. We were expecting to discover a large accumulation of rubbish, due to the length of time since we’d visited this site, and whilst we found a fair amount, it was much cleaner than we thought!

We didn’t just find litter in the river this month… we also saved a butterfly from drowning and left him to dry out on the banks.

We stopped for lunch around 1 o’clock and had to eat the cake fast as it was melting in the sunshine! We also had time to model some of the interesting items we found.

After lunch we did a second sweep of the river and also ventured downstream a little more. We always manage to find more rubbish, so we went all the way through until 3 o’clock, when we finally decided to call it a day.

Here is the final rubbish pile.

So what did we find? 5 tyres, two bikes, two traffic cones, a carpet, a pillow, a make-up suitcase, a till (unfortunately empty), a pipe, a TV, 1 radiator, three footballs, a pram and as always lots of bottles, cans and plastic bags. 

Massive thanks to everyone who helped set up at the start of the day and pack up the van at the end of the event, Dave for supervising the Event Tent, Wandsworth Council for organising the collection of all the rubbish, Big Yellow Wandsworth for providing free storage space for our equipment, and of course to our funders The National Lottery Community Fund!

Special shout out to Guy and helpers for clearing over 1500 Himalayan Balsam plants so we could litter pick the bank and access the river easily and to David for testing out the depth of the river!

Thank you to all our volunteers for coming: Tom, Rob, Gearoid, Dave, Wally, Ben, Sheila, Tom, Charlene, Jason, Margaret, Charles, Chris, Fay, Deborah, David, Daphne, David, Paul, Derek, Ed, Thomas, William, Phil, Davina, Paul, Fingal and Guy.  

As this was our last clean-up, Jo and I would like to say a massive thank you to Polly and Jess from the Wandle Trust for training us and giving us the opportunity to run these cleanups. We have loved every minute and are sad to be leaving.

To all the volunteers that come out every month come rain or shine, you really are the heart of this charity and without you all we would not be able to run these events and make the difference we do to the river and surrounding environment.

Particularly huge thanks to Dave and Wally for giving us all the guidance and humour we could possibly ask for!

We wish you all the best and look forward to seeing the clean-ups continue to grow in the future. We will definitely be back to volunteer once we are finished on our next adventures!

Lucy and Jo.

Wandle Cleanup: July 2019: Sutton

For the July Cleanup we headed to Goat Road, Sutton.

We started off the day with the usual Welcome Talk and Health & Safety briefing. As always, everyone was very eager to crack on with wading and litter picking along the banks.

We had 52 volunteers join us this month, another great turn out! From a distance, the river seemed fairly clean, but on closer inspection, we could see lots of rubbish was entangled in the river vegetation and bank sides. Derek had his eye on a Boris bike and motorcycle he had spotted earlier in the month so a few of the volunteers focused on retrieving these.

The riverbanks also needed a thorough litter picking and we came across around 100 cans that had been carelessly discarded.

When it was time for a lunch break, we were all hurrying to get a piece of Jo’s mums’ delicious coffee and walnut cake (thank you Valerie!).

In the afternoon we moved upstream of the road bridge to clear the section of river downstream of the weir.

There was still so much rubbish to find, so we went all the way through until 3 o’clock when we finally decided to call it a day.

Here is the final rubbish pile – a haul so big the council had to do two trips to take it away!

So what did we find? 10 tyres, a motorbike, a Boris bike, a bed, one mattress, a traffic cone, a carpet, two barriers, various toys, a bike, two coconuts, a toilet, and as always lots of bottles, cans and plastic bags. 

See you all next month!

Lucy and Jo

Huge thanks to everyone who helped pack up the van at the end of the event, Dave for supervising the Event Tent, and Sutton Council for organising collection of all the rubbish the same day, Big Yellow Wandsworth for providing free storage space for our equipment, and to our funders, the National Lottery Community Fund.

Thank you to all our volunteers for coming: Val, Martin, Rosie, Tomm, Steve, Pauline, Dizzy, Dave, Kate, Jane, Dave, Guy, Steve, Takako, Thomas, Roderick, Fiona, Tony, Bertie, Jason, Paul, Syed, Sumayya, James, Lawson, Mike, Margo, Chris, Charles, Derek, Aaron, Nick, Claire, Joseph, Benjamin, Per, Phil, Andy, Joseph, Marion, Neil, Thea, Sarah, John, Wally, Rob, Dylan and Elisabeth.

Wandle Cleanup: May 2019: Merton

For our May cleanup we headed to Plough Lane in Merton.

We started off the day with the usual Welcome Talk and Health & Safety briefing. For the first time this year we were lucky to have lovely sunny weather, so everyone was very eager to crack on with wading and litter picking around the banks.

We had another amazing turnout this month, with 49 volunteers getting stuck in cleaning the river. Initially the site seemed fairly clean, but once we got in the river it was shocking to see how much was embedded into the river bed.

The riverbanks were very clean, so the morning mainly consisted of removing rubbish from the river itself. This site was particularly bad for wet wipes and cloth trapped in the riverbed and surrounding vegetation. We had to work as a team to get the rubbish up from the river (we channelled our inner superman/ninja turtle).

We stopped for lunch around 1 o’clock and were all hurrying to get a piece of the lovely lemon drizzle cake made by Jackie – huge thank you for this, it was delicious!

After lunch we did a second sweep of the river and found even more cloth tangled in the riverbed. There was still so much rubbish to find, so we went all the way through until 3 o’clock when we finally decided to call it a day.

Here is the final rubbish pile.

So what did we find? 12 tyres, a trolley, a scooter, a bed frame, some socks, a traffic cone, a skateboard, various parts of a car, two large bones, a carpet, two barriers, superman, ninja turtle, various toys, a bike, huge amounts of wet wipes and other cloth, and as always lots of bottles, cans and plastic bags. 

Finally, we would like to say a massive thank you to the Robins & Day Vauxhall show room, for letting us use their toilet and also offering teas and coffees!

Lucy and Jo

Huge thanks to everyone who helped pack up the van at the end of the event, Dave for supervising the Event Tent, Big Yellow Wandsworth for providing free storage space for our equipment,Merton Council for organising collection of all the rubbish and of course to our funders, The National Lottery Community Fund!

Thank you to all our volunteers for coming: Mike, Suzanne, Charles, Sheila, Bev, Sally, Derek, Aaron, Claire, David, Caroline, Ian, Joe, Neil, Simon, Dave, Luke, Lynda, Steve, Joanne, Elizabeth, Chris, William, Guy, Paul, Alfie, Beau, Steve, David, Per, Nick, Andy, Margaret, Rob, Suzanne, Steve, Martin, Indi, Linda, Davina, Aria, Phil, Kate, Estelle, Will and Jamie.

Wandle Cleanup: April 2019: Sutton

For our April cleanup we headed to Culvers Avenue, Sutton as part of the nationwide Great British Spring Clean taking place this month.

As usual we started off the day with a Welcome Talk and Health & Safety briefing. We then cracked on with wading and litter picking around the banks.

We had an amazing turnout this month with 72 volunteers who were all full of enthusiasm and eagerness to clean the river!

Before lunch we removed litter along the long stretch of the river running through the park, all the way down to Culvers Avenue and the areas around the river. We found lots of personal items, including a sock, some keys, a phone and a coat. Another small group of volunteers spent the morning clearing the river near Hackbridge Road. 

We stopped for lunch around 1pm and were lucky to have some home-baked goods waiting for us, made by two of the students who volunteering with us – massive thanks to both of you, the cakes were delicious!

After lunch we went down the right-hand side of the river and removed even more litter from the river and banks, finding components of a basketball net.

There was so much rubbish to find we went all the way through until 3 o’clock when we finally decided to call it a day.

Here is the final rubbish pile.

So what did we find? 2 tyres, a trolley, a pushchair, a toilet, 2 footballs, a coat, some socks, a pogo stick, a scooter, a cone, a basketball net and fixture, some keys, a phone, a type writer, lots of bottles, cans and plastic bags. 

Lucy and Jo

Huge thanks to everyone who helped pack up the van at the end of the event, Wally for supervising the Event Tent, Sutton Council for organising collection of all the rubbish the next day, Big Yellow Wandsworth for providing free storage space for our equipment and to The National Lottery Community Fund.

Thank you to all our volunteers for coming: Martin, Sheila, Paul, Elizabeth, Brenda, John, Jan, Martin, Mickey, Amanda, Maria, Rowna, Natalie, Guy, Fran, Leila, Richard, Elizabeth, Steve, Amanda, Nicholas, Jenny, Andrea, Marion, Alistair, Nick, Christopher, Jessica, Mick, Tom, Clare, Joseph, Ed, Matthew, Nick, Wayne, Tony, Phil, Clare, Graham, Rob, Amberel, Sian, Rob, Charles, Victor, Vivienne, William, Elisabete, Isla, Simon, Autem, Kate, Bev, Rob, Margaret, James, Elaine, Gillian, Geoff, Dave , Wally, and Aaron.

Wandle cleanup: July 2018: Sutton

For our July cleanup, we headed to Goat Road in Mitcham.

This was the first event that myself and Hannah ran since taking over from Polly and we would like to thank everyone for being so welcoming and helpful. We would especially like to thank Polly for showing us the ropes!

We started off the day with the usual Welcome Talk and Health & Safety briefing. It was very hot, but everyone was still eager to get wading and litter picking! We had a great turnout with about 30 volunteers working hard in and around the river.  A few members of the group also spotted some Himalayan balsam and worked as a team to remove it before it could spread seeds any further.

Throughout the day we removed lots of plastic litter and we also found a few interesting things, including a passport, a hammer, a king size mattress, a fridge, a (fake) Rolex and a pram.

Our lunch break consisted of cake eating, tea drinking and hiding out in the shade, before setting off again further along the river into Poulter Park.

Due to the fast flow and depth of the water, we could not wade along much of the river here, but we still came across a child’s bike, and of course lots more litter!

So what did we find? 1 watch, 1 passport, 1 bike, 1 santa hat, 1 hammer,  1 2012 calendar, 1 coconut, 1 golf ball, a king size mattress, a fridge, a motorcycle helmet, a large pipe, a scooter, 2 footballs, 3 chairs, 7 tyres, and of course, lots of plastic bags, bottles and wrappers.

 

We ended the day by showing how two minds really are better than one as we all worked together to ram the van full of all the equipment in some sort of organised manner (you’ll all be happy to know that Hannah and I were not flattened by any equipment when we unloaded the van!)

On a more serious note…These events truly demonstrate the impact that plastic waste is having on the environment, and why we all need to help tackle the plastic pollution issue now. It is great to see both regular and new faces coming along to our events – let’s keep up the good work!

See you next month!

Lucy and Hannah

Huge thanks for the warm welcome, and to everyone who helped unpack and pack up the van during the event, Rosie for supervising the Event Tent, and Sutton Council for organising the collection of all the rubbish the next day, Big Yellow Wandsworth for providing free storage space for our equipment and to our funders, Tesco!

Thank you to all our volunteers for coming: Chris, Steve, Neil, Tom, Damon, Tom, Charles, Rose, John, Joanne, David, Paul, Steve, Per, Nick, Sarah, Dave, Will, Simon, Tim, Martin, Derek, Guy, Stewart, Sheila, Chris, Phil, Luke, Lynda and Wally.