Saturday 27 October saw a large gathering of people at Strawberry Lodge in Carshalton on the banks of the Wandle. The event was a chance for us at the Trust to thank all our loyal volunteers for their support and commitment since the beginning of our Trout in the Classroom project back in 2001.
Also present were many interested new recruits keen and eager to find out what this inspiring educational project is all about. It was particularly heartening that environmental students from Kings College London and recent graduates from Sparsholt fisheries management degree courses came to sign up as volunteers for this year’s project: a new generation keen to see the continuing regeneration of the River Wandle!
The event kicked off with a presentation which looked back at the evolution of the trout project, followed by a question and answer session.
After this our talented new Project Coordinator AJ McConville was introduced to the audience. As befits the newest recruit to the Wandle Trust team, AJ advises government on environmental policy but is also very hands-on and practical – as evidenced by a hatchery he had assembled for the occasion!
At 12.30pm we broke for a buffet lunch which was welcomed by all.
After lunch those that were able to stay braved the squally weather for a guided walk upstream along the Butter Hill stretch of the river, where we talked about the work we’ve been doing to improve the natural habitat. In fact many of our trout project volunteers have also been involved with this regeneration work and so they were able to impart their considerable knowledge too.
Finally, we rounded off the event with a well earned drink at the Greyhound pub beside Carshalton Ponds at the headwaters of the Wandle.
Thanks and congratulations to anyone who’s ever been involved in helping us deliver our educational projects!