Midges are chironomids and spend the first part of their lives in the river itself. They then pupate and emerge as flying adults, surviving for only a few days to mate and lay eggs at the river’s surface. However, recently they have been emerging in huge numbers in Ravensbury Park and other sites along the Wandle, with some local residents unable to open their windows.
The Environment Agency are investigating the causes of these mass emergences and as part of this has commissioned a study to find out more about the type of midges causing the problem, and what can be done to alleviate it.
But they need your help…
The Environment Agency need you as their eyes on the river. If and when you experience a swarm of midges in your area, please call a report through to the EA hotline on 0800 80 70 60 as soon as possible, detailing the time of day and location of the swarm.
The Environment Agency will then be able to gain a better understanding of how widespread these occurrences are becoming and whether any specific locations are particularly badly affected. They’ll combine your reports with their own information to assist in establishing reasons for the high midge numbers and working towards appropriate recommendations to help alleviate the problem.