Tag Archives: Books

New book: The Pocket Guide to Balsam Bashing

Pocket Guide to Balsam Bashing

We are very excited to announce the recent publication of a new book by our Chairman of Trustees, Theo Pike, entitled ‘The Pocket Guide to Balsam Bashing – and how to tackle other Invasive Non-Native Species’.

This ground-breaking 96-page handbook includes more than 40 invasive non-native species (INNS) such as Himalayan balsam, giant hogweed, Chinese mitten crabs, signal crayfish and mink, with practical advice on how individuals and community groups like ours can take action against them or stop them spreading further.

Even reporting a sighting of oak processionary moths or Asian longhorn beetles can make a big difference to protecting our natural biodiversity, and there is also a section on biosecurity measures like Defra’s Check-Clean-Dry advice.

Best of all, since this book was partly inspired by the work of the Wandle Trust and our wonderful volunteers, you may even recognise yourself in one of the photos.

Copies of the ‘Pocket Guide to Balsam Bashing’ are available direct from the publishers, Merlin Unwin Books, or you can buy a signed copy from Theo at one of our community balsam bashing and river cleanup events!

New Wandle books: Trout in Dirty Places and River Wandle Companion & Wandle Trail Guide

The last couple of months have seen the publication of two important new books related to the River Wandle. 

In early April, the Wandle Trust’s Chairman of Trustees, Theo Pike, launched Trout in Dirty Places: 50 rivers to fly-fish for trout and grayling in the UK’s town and city centres.

Described by one reviewer as “a landmark in fly-fishing history”, Trout in Dirty Places provides a fascinating snapshot of the state of urban rivers across the UK, with profiles of many community river restoration and Trout in the Town groups – of course including a chapter on the Wandle and the Wandle Trust!

Then, this week, the much-anticipated River Wandle Companion and Wandle Trail Guide was published by our good friends (and dedicated Wandle volunteers) Bob Steel and Derek Coleman.

This is the first new guidebook to the Wandle for 15 years, bringing the story of the river’s revival right up to date, and including huge amounts of painstaking new research and details about local history.

Both books have now been officially launched, but we hope to arrange further authors’ signings at Wandle cleanups in the near future. In the meantime, the books are also available via the following links:

Update: on Saturday 17 November, Derek Coleman will be giving a talk on the wildlife of the Wandle at the London Wetland Centre. Click here for full details.

Wandle cleanup: September 2009: Merton

The one with the cones, the caddis and the cook book…

On a grey September Sunday, our enthusiastic band of volunteers descended on the Wandle where it runs in a deep channel alongside Autumn Close in Merton – joining the Friends of Garfield Recreation Ground who were clearly relishing the chance to get stuck into their local stretch of river.

Right under the footbridge, a scooter opened the scoreline, and Rigby volunteered to wheel it to the dumping site…


… while the rest of us worked our way upstream into a wonderful jungle of fallen willow sweepers: Large Woody Debris adding much-needed habitat to this stretch of river:


Maybe it was the interesting currents these branches created… but when we retrieved most of a nearby cross-training machine, its one remaining pedal housed a horde of pollution-sensitive caseless caddis, at least one per compartment (so we carefully detached the pedal and put it back again!)


Coffee time saw the launch of the new Wandle Trust cook book, with special signings from the authors, Sally and Jo…


Back on the bankside, girl power continued as Ann, Yolanda, Sarah, Abi and Erica showed a waterlogged carpet no mercy:


For about half a second, Toby hoped he’d found a secret wireless broadband hotspot at the North Road bridge…


 … but to no avail, and the laptop joined our largest-ever haul of traffic cones (24 of ’em) …


 … while everyone in our final team photo agreed that this had probably been a far better workout than anything available in the gym on the other side of the fence!


Thanks to all our volunteers: Abi, Andy, Ann, Ben, Forrest, Helen, Ian, James, Jane, Jo, Kevin, Mike, Paul, Peter, Rigby, Rory, Sally, Sarah, Steven, Sue, Theo, Toby and Yolanda… and of course to Merton Council for clearing away all the rubbish for us afterwards!