Author Archives: Theo

Trout in the Town: How it all began

If you’ve ever wondered how the Wandle Trust’s work helped to kick-start the whole UK’s urban river restoration movement… then wonder no more. 

Just click on over to the latest issue of Eat Sleep Fish and read this fascinating interview with our good friend Paul Gaskell of the Wild Trout Trust, aka Dr Trout in the Town. Quite apart from the Wandle Trust’s involvement, it’s also a great illustration of how passion and profession can converge in one man’s career (and a reminder to some of the rest of us that maybe we didn’t quite make the right early career choices…)

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!

Wandle Trust charity Christmas cards 2011: buy yours here!

Yes, it’s that time of year again…

Our charity Christmas card design for 2011: Hackbridge in the snow

 … when we announce the design of this season’s new Wandle Trust charity Christmas cards, and encourage all our friends and supporters to send as many as they can to their own friends and relations!

This year’s A5-sized cards show Hackbridge in the snow… with a tag of strategically-placed graffiti as a festive greeting.

Printed locally on FSC-certified paper, the cards are A5 landscape in format, and are available in packs of 8 cards for £10. All profits will go directly to help the vital work of the Wandle Trust.

You can buy your cards at our November and December cleanups, where limited numbers of previous years’ cards will also be available. Alternatively, you can buy them online via this website and your Paypal account, and have them sent to you.  Here’s how:

Check the price of the number of packs you want, plus Royal Mail 1st class postage and packaging, from the table below:

  • 1 pack of 8 cards (268g) plus 1st class P&P: £3.25
  • 2 packs of 8 cards (536g) plus 1st class P&P: £3.80
  • 3 packs of 8 cards (704g) plus 1st class P&P: £3.95
  • 4 packs of 8 cards (1072g) plus 1st class P&P: £5.75
  • 5 packs of 8 cards (1338g) plus 1st class P&P: £6.50
  • 6 packs of 8 cards (1606g) plus 1st class P&P: £7.25
  • 7 packs of 8 cards (1876g) plus 1st class P&P: £8.00
  • 8 packs of 8 cards (2140g) plus 1st class P&P: £9.80

Then make your payment via the Paypal link on the left hand side of this page, and email us at confirming your Paypal payment, the number of packs you want, and (most importantly) your postal address.  We’ll aim to send your cards within 2 working days of receiving your order.

If you’d prefer to buy cards in any of our previous designs (below), please email us first with the details and quantities you’d like, and we’ll see if we still have them in stock.

Christmas 2010: Wandle alphabet

Christmas 2009: Earlsfield railway bridge

Christmas 2008: Butter Hill bridge

Christmas 2007: Grove Park, Carshalton

If you don’t want to buy online, you can also send us a cheque for the number of packs of cards you’d like, plus the appropriate amount for postage and packaging, according to the table. Please make your cheque payable to The Wandle Trust, and send it to: 75 Mill Lane, Carshalton,Surrey SM5 2JS.

Happy Christmas shopping – and thank you for your support!

Celebrating the Wandle and launching our new Supporters’ Scheme

Since 1870, when John Ruskin wrote his notorious eulogy for the Wandle, complaining about the “slow stealing of neglect over the delicate sweetness of that English scene” and even the “insolent defiling” of the headwater springs at Carshalton, it’s safe to say that the river has endured many ups and downs.

On the other hand, the work that he complained “is never given, nor I suppose ever will be… for evermore about those wells of English waters”… well, we know it’s certainly being given now.

So last Thursday evening saw more than 120 Wandle volunteers, river restoration professionals and local dignitaries, including the Leader of Sutton Council and the Mayor of Merton, gathering in the Civic Suite of Wandsworth Town Hall, to celebrate the launch of the Wandle Trust’s new Supporters’ Scheme

… and raise a glass to the Environment Agency’s announcement in September that the Wandle is one of the UK’s 10 most improved rivers in the last 20 years.

Taking the podium for his keynote address, our local MP Tom Brake revealed that the Wandle Trust’s work has featured in several of his speeches to the House of Commons (hint: check Hansard!)


… and told us how his experiences of finding handguns and police ID badges in the Wandle, whilst volunteering at several of our river cleanups and habitat improvement events, have provided him with startling sidelights on his role as Co-Chair of the Backbench Committee on Home Affairs, Justice and Equalities!

Following these revelations, familiar figures from the Wandle Trust recalled how dramatically the river has recovered since the 1850s (with quotes from Ruskin), outlined our plans for the coming year, and introduced our Supporters’ Scheme…



… before we all joined in a final round of applause for our project partners and dedicated volunteers…

… and continued celebrating into the night with canapés provided by Jo and Arabella, and a firkin of Wandle Ale very generously donated by our good friends at Sambrooks Brewery.



Many thanks to all our volunteers, both on Thursday night and at all our other events, and here’s to another 10, 20 or 150 years’ success for the Wandle!

To help our vital work on the Wandle or find out more about our new Supporters’ Scheme, please click here.

Fire on the Purley Way: can you help us check the river?

(Image: the Environment Agency)

As some of you may have heard, since about 1am this morning there’s been a major fire at a tyre-shredding plant at Fiveways Corner on the Purley Way. At least 10 fire engines are still involved in putting it out, and foam and fire-water are running into the Wandle via the surface water drainage system. Five Ways Corner may be shut for up to 24 hours while the incident is fully brought under control.

Our local Environment Agency fisheries team is on site near the point of discharge above Beddington Park with booms and aerators, but we’ve just had a call from their office to ask if we can ask any of our supporters to check the river for:

  • how far the foam extends downstream
  • any signs of distressed fish or other wildlife

Any urgent details should be fed through to the EA’s incident hotline 0800 80 70 60: please also post them as a comment below this blog post so we can track them too.

Clearly this is in the middle of a working day, but any information would be very greatly appreciated!

The Wandle: one of the UK’s ten most improved rivers!

(Image: Duncan Soar)

We’re delighted to report that the Environment Agency has named the Wandle as one of the UK’s rivers which has shrugged off its industrial past and improved the most in the last twenty years.

From the EA’s press release:

Historically the river has suffered extreme pollution and was officially declared a sewer in the 1960s. But over the last 20 years it has become a vibrant rich habitat due to better environmental regulation, a fish stocking programme and huge local enthusiasm for the river which has resulted in a vast improvement of water quality.

The Wandle is now well known as one of the best urban coarse fisheries in the country and supports a huge variety of wildlife supporting a wide variety of species including chub, barbel and eel. It has also become a very popular location for walkers.  

On a slow news Tuesday after the August Bank Holiday weekend, BBC and ITV film crews descended on the Wandle… and camped at Morden Hall Park for a full twelve hours of rolling coverage, interviewing the National Trust’s Simon Cranmer and Chris Heels, the EA’s Tom Cousins, and our own Director Bella Davies and Trustee Jane Porter.

Print and digital media picked up the story too, and you can read some of those stories and commentaries here:

Many thanks to all our project partners and amazing volunteers who have done so much to help the Wandle recover its health – and here’s to many more improvements in the months and years to come!

Our new working agreement with the Environment Agency!

On Thursday 23 June, the Chair of the Environment Agency, Lord Chris Smith, visited the Wandle to sign an historic Habitat Enhancement Protocol with the Wandle Trust: an agreement which will allow us to work even more closely with our friends at the Agency for the benefit of the river.

Click here to download and read our press release!

This event was supported by the WATER project selected within the scope of the INTERREG IVA France (Channel) – England cross-border European cooperation programme, co-financed by the ERDF.



Dr Bella Davies: now Director of the Wandle Trust

The Trustees of the Wandle Trust are delighted to announce the promotion of Dr Bella Davies to the position of Trust Director.

Over the past two years, Bella has steadily helped us build the Trust’s activities and partnerships, and we’re thrilled to see her stepping up to an even more strategic role (which will also involve plenty of hands-on work such as yesterday’s installation of eel monitoring equipment at Merton Abbey Mills – as above!)

In the meantime, stay tuned for even more exciting news from Bella about our partnership projects with Vodafone World of Difference, the Zoological Society of London, the Environment Agency and many more…