Tag Archives: Consultation

Guardians of the River Wandle

For the last two years, our famous Wandle Trust cleanups have been supported by the Living Wandle Landscape Partnership, a Heritage Lottery Funded scheme all about connecting people to the River Wandle.

The project was called River Guardians and it aimed to run safe and enjoyable events, while raising awareness about the pollution issues our rivers face such as misconnected properties, urban run-off and fly-tipping – the last of which we physically tackled as a team at each event.

A leaflet was produced to highlight some everyday changes we could all make in their own homes to reduce pollution (pictured below) and how to report pollution when it’s spotted using the Environment Agency’s Incident Hotline – 0800 80 70 60.

Wandle and Pollution

So what did we achieve?

Over the two years, we held a total of 18 Wandle cleanups, spending over 2900 hours clearing rubbish from the Wandle. We would like to thank all the volunteers who joined us at our events – we couldn’t have achieved any of this without you. We would also like to thank our local councils (Wandsworth, Merton and Sutton) who organised the collection and safe disposal of the 58 tonnes of rubbish we pulled out over the course of the project!

Cleanup Summary

What’s next?

With the project now at an end, we are keen to gather some feedback from our volunteers to share with our funders, but also help shape our cleanup events in the future.

If you have attended a cleanup in the past (even if it was 8 years ago!) please take 5 minutes to complete our short survey.

Take the Cleanups Survey now!


Help the Environment Agency with the midge issue

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.

Beddington Park: Add Your Voice!

This year there is a Heritage Lottery Fund project to restore Beddington Park, including the lakes and the River Wandle. The Wandle Trust have been involved in developing the bid with Sutton Council, providing expertise and guidance.

If you’re a user of Beddington Park or live close by, please take the time to complete this short survey to add your voice to how you use the Park and how you’d like to see it improved!

Click here to take the survey

What does the Wandle mean to you?

You have the chance to have your say in how the Wandle is managed in the future. 

The Environment Agency has published draft River Basin Management Plans for every river in the UK and they want to hear your opinion!

To help you get involved and add your voice, WWF have created an easy way to make your opinions heard.

Got a couple of minutes? Answers these quick 5 questions. 

Got a bit longer? Give us more detail on what you value to be important to your local river here. 

Share this with your friends and family – #SAVEOURWATERS


Wandle Catchment Plan update: the Vision is published!

At last, the wait is over!


The Vision forms a core part of the Wandle Catchment Plan, outlining our overall aims to improve the River Wandle and its surrounding landscape.

It has been developed in partnership with the local community via a series of workshops and surveys that the Wandle Trust ran throughout spring and summer 2012. This was possibly the largest community consultation to take place in the Wandle valley and the huge amount of feedback and information we received has provided invaluable guidance in the development of the Catchment Plan.

We would like everyone who has participated to have their own copy of the Vision and to learn more about the Catchment Plan. We are mailing copies to all those who provided postal details during the consultation. If you would like a copy and have not already provided your address details, please get in touch by emailing Claire at claire.bedford@wandletrust.org

But this is only the start! We need you to help us spread the word further – whether or not you have been able to participate already. We want as many people to see the Vision as possible.
Are you a member of a local group?
Or are you involved with community events?
Do you run a business in the area that engages with people?
Or do you know of any forthcoming activities (such as walks, coffee mornings or local fairs) that might be interested?
If you can answer yes to any of these, please let Claire know as we’d love to give you some copies of the Vision.

Due to the image-orientated design of the Vision, its large file size means it is not downloadable as a complete document at present. We have created download-friendly PDF page spreads instead and these will be accessible soon, so watch this space if you would prefer an electronic version…

In the meantime, here’s a sneak preview of the four overall aims:

The river supports a mosaic of habitats with high biodiversity

Water: plentiful and clean, and varied in its flow speeds, widths and depths

Sympathetically managed pathways along the whole river

Everyone in the catchment aware of the river and knowing how their actions can affect it. Councils, businesses, government agencies and public working together to improve the river

The next step will be to produce an Action Plan. This will support the Vision by detailing what will need to be done to achieve the overall aims to improve the river, now and for the future, and it will guide the many organisations working in the Wandle valley. The Action Plan will feature the advice of technical experts as well as the local community to ensure that the Plan is scientifically robust as well as locally relevant. Together, the Vision and the Action Plan will complete the Catchment Plan.

Work on the Action Plan is well underway and we expect to complete it very soon. It will be a much larger document than the Vision and so we will most likely make this available online rather than printing and distributing it. We will post an update here shortly.

Thanks again to everyone who took part and get in touch if you’d like a copy of the Vision!

Wandle Catchment Plan update: Developing the Vision (part 2)

We thought you might like to know a bit more about who took part in the initial consultations to help us develop our overall aims for improving the River Wandle.

In total, 27 workshops were held across the four boroughs between February and June and 99 questionnaires were completed. We are delighted by this show of interest and support and want to thank all of you who spared time to take part.

428 individuals participated, representing engagement with fifty-six different organisations, interest groups and schoolchildren. Here is the full list of groups by region:

LB Wandsworth:
1. Wandsworth U3A (University of the Third Age)
2. Wandsworth Cycling Campaign
3. LB Wandsworth biodiversity staff
4. Wandsworth Society
5. Henry Prince Estate residents
6. King George’s Park allotment holders
7. Wimbledon Park Residents’ Association
8. Wandsworth Living Streets
9. Saint Cecilia’s secondary school

LB Merton:
1. Friends Of Ravensbury Park
2. Peter Scott Tree Care & Drain Scan Company
3. LB Merton Councillors
4. LB Merton biodiversity staff
5. Mitcham Common Conservators
6. National Trust – staff & conservation volunteers
7. Morden Hall Park Angling Group
8. Merton Poets group
9. Bennett’s Hole volunteer leader
10. Deen City Farm
11. Mitcham Cricket Green Community

LB Sutton:
1. Wilderness Island volunteers
2. Carshalton Society
3. Beddington Farmlands Bird Group
4. Hackbridge & Beddington Corner Neighbourhood Development Group
5. Spencer Road Wetland volunteer manager
6. Sutton Nature Conservation volunteers
7. Sutton Ecology Centre
8. Walkie-Talkies (Beddington-based walking group)
9. LB Sutton biodiversity, parks & sustainability staff
10. BedZed Pavillion & Save the Bridge group

LB Croydon:
1. Croydon Rifle & Pistol Club
2. Good Companion Social Club
3. Croydon Natural History & Scientific Society
4. Croydon Real Nappy Network
5. LB Croydon Councillor / deputy mayor
6. Quaggy Waterways Action Group
7. Friends of Wandle Park
8. Friends of the County of Surrey Croydon Canal Restoration Group
9. Peebles Court Residents’ Association
10. Kenley & District Residents’ Association (KENDRA)

1. Environment Agency
2. Wandle Trust
3. London Wildlife Trust
4. Groundwork London
5. Metropolitan Public Gardens Association
6. Natural England
7. Wandle Forum
8. Wandle Valley Festival
9. Wandle Piscators
10. Wandle Industrial Museum
11. (CTC) National Cyclists’ Association
12. Wandle Connect

1. Kings College London Aquatic Science MSc students
2. Woodland Trust
3. English Heritage
4. Kingston University Environment & Earth Resources MSc student

Wandle Catchment Plan update: Developing the Vision (part 1)

Earlier this year, we asked lots of people throughout the Wandle Valley to tell us what matters to you about the river, via our consultation workshops and a questionnaire.

The aim of this consultation is to identify what needs to be done to make the river healthy and attractive for both people and wildlife, and use these ideas to create a Catchment Plan for looking after the river.

There are two parts to the Catchment Plan – a Vision and an Action Plan. The Vision will outline the overall aims for achieving a healthy river, and the Action Plan will provide the scientific details and technical actions needed to achieve those aims. The Vision will be printed this autumn and the Action Plan will follow by Christmas. More information on the Action Plan will follow, but first, here are the details of how we are developing the Vision.

The themes that emerged as being important to you are wide-ranging. They include: wildlife and landscape, water quality and river character, access, engagement, recreation, activities, awareness, information and education, funding, stewardship, management and governance, engineering and the built environment, heritage and transport.

The values that you said were of top priority overall are: wildlife and landscape; water quality and river character; access; and engagement, recreation and activities.

These have been developed into four overall aims as a Vision for the Catchment Plan to deliver. But before we go any further, we want to check what you think about these findings. Do you think they reflect the things that matter most to you about the river and its surroundings?

We want to make sure everyone has had the chance to comment, and we want to hear from you even if you weren’t able to participate in the consultations previously.

Update: the questionnaire has now closed. Thanks to all of you who offered feedback.  It was very positive and we will take your points on board in the next stages.

Wandle Catchment Plan workshops: it’s time to have your say (or click below for our online survey!)

Click here for our online Catchment Plan survey

From early April through May, the Wandle Trust is running a series of consultation workshops throughout the Wandle Valley to get local residents’ views on what the Wandle means to them at the moment, and what could be done in the future to make it healthier and more appealing.

The series of public workshops has now come to an end, but you can still take part by filling out our online survey.

So how are the workshops going so far? What have people thought and said, and are they finding the workshops as enjoyable as we hoped they would?  Here are some updates:

People from nearly thirty different organisations and interest groups have participated, including charities, Friends Of groups and social clubs as well as landowners and managers.  That’s not a bad cross-section at this stage!

With so many different backgrounds, there’ s a natural diversity of interests and priorities.  Yet, interestingly, there’s frequently a large amount of agreement on key issues.  I’m noticing it as I type up and consolidate the results, but it is something participants are also seeing at the workshops as we progress through the activities.  One attendee commented that they liked the “Co-operation and diversity of ideas amongst participants”, while another enjoyed the “opportunity to interact with other local interested people”.

A key thing that seems to be a winner is the way the workshops are carried out using a piece of kit called Ketso.  It is democratic, non-judgmental and, perhaps most importantly, being made of fuzzy felt with adhesive shapes, it is great fun to use!  “Immeasurably better than a flipchart”, “very innovative and easy to use” and a “useful way of pooling ideas” are just some examples of the overwhelmingly positive feedback I’ve received.

Ketso is also proving that even people who come to a workshop feeling they might not have anything to contribute are finding it a good way to brainstorm.  One popular sentiment that is emerging is surprise at how many different things are being thought of and how satisfying it is to look at when a session is finished and all the ideas are mapped out in front of you.

But don’t just take our word for it – come along and experience it for yourself!

Just in case you can’t get to one of the workshops, we’ve also created a special online  questionnaire to help make sure you don’t miss out.  So if you prefer to let us know your views this way, please take ten minutes to click here and have your say!

Introducing Claire

We are thrilled to announce that Claire Bedford has joined the Wandle Trust team to help deliver the Wandle Catchment Plan over the coming months. 

Claire is an ecologist and self-confessed Wandle fan!  Having previously worked with London Wildlife Trust to plan for the reintroduction of the water vole, she knows the Wandle well.

The Wandle Catchment Plan aims to understand what we need to do to improve the river so that wildlife can thrive and people can fully enjoy the environment.

Claire will undertake a series of workshops to capture people’s views as well as analysing data to make sure we’ve got the science right – keep an eye on our Calendar page for workshop dates over the next few months or email Claire directly.