Tag Archives: Supporter

Wandle cleanup: April 2015: Wandsworth

The one with moped, after moped, after moped, after moped… you get the idea.

For April’s cleanup we were back at Trewint Street, a trusty location for some big rubbish items. This month’s cleanup was kindly supported by Seymour Green Estate Agents, and the Living Wandle Landscape Partnership Scheme, funded through the National Lottery Heritage Lottery Fund.

Getting ready

We kicked off the cleanup in the usual style and divided into 4 teams. The first team were in charge of removing two motorbikes from the river I had spotted the week beforehand, so armed with grapples and crow bars they set off.

Moped one...

The second team were also wading, but downstream of Trewint Street bridge where there was a fresh batch of rubbish to remove.


The third team provided the usual much needed bank support and finally Team 4 headed off to tackle the large pile of fly tipping on the Wandle Trail. And with almost 60 people at our cleanup – we were ready for a busy day.


No sooner had everyone got started, the motorbike team were pulling out mopeds with some pace. Turns out there were more than just the two spotted the week before. By lunchtime, 8 had been pulled out of the Wandle and we called the local police in to check the number plates.

Moped 2

Heave ho!

Our fly-tipping team were making a huge difference, removing junk wood, household objects and building waste from the large pile on the Wandle Trail. They even found a trolley which came in handy when moving the bikes.

Moped 3?

Just before lunch, the Mayor of Wandsworth, Stuart Thom, came to visit all the volunteers and see the enormous amount of rubbish we were finding.

The Mayor

By coffee time, everyone was ready for a break. The rubbish pile was already huge and it was clear we were going to break a record at this cleanup. This month’s cakes were baked for us by two new volunteers – Ida Nyander Soderhielm and Tatiana Von Gaisberg.

The afternoon saw yet more rubbish and more mopeds….

Moped 4?

Moped 5/6?

And another

So what did we find? 1 ladybug toy, 1 trolley (classic), 1 set of Christmas lights, 1 bowl, 1 radiator, 1 extension chord, 1 umbrella (not much use now), 1 mermaid painting, 1 scooter, 1 sports bag, 1 TV, 1 football, 1 orange tilt, 2 prams, 5 rugs, fencing panels, wooden pallets, 3 chairs, 3 tyres, 9 mopeds, loads of wood and around 80 bags of rubbish.

Huge thanks to those who helped me pack up and unload at the end of the day and to Jamie who kindly came to the garage with me;  Tatiana and Ida for catering for our volunteers; Wally and Chris for helping supervise everyone on the day and the Waste Management Team at Wandsworth Council for organising collection of all the rubbish the next day.

Thank you to all our volunteers for coming: Aaron, Adele, Aimee, Carol, Charles, Charlotte, Chris, Colin, Daniel, David H, Derek, Diana, Geroid, Hannah, Howard, Ida, James, Jamie, Jason, Jo, John N, Kate, Lea, Leigh, Luisa, Marco, Margie, Mays, Mhairi, Mike, Nicky, Oliver, Penny, Per, Pip, Richard, Rob, Russell, Sarah, Serena, Simon, Sue, Sumi, Tatiana, Tia, Victoria, Wally, Wayne, Will and William.

So what did I learn from this month’s cleanup?  That you never know how many mopeds are lurking in the Wandle waters.

Eel tally: 4



Landscape Logo pantone 2747



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.

Introducing Erica and Tim

We are delighted to announce that Wandle Trust staff numbers have grown from one to three for the next month or two!  Both Erica Evans and Tim Longstaff have successfully won a Vodafone World of Difference award to work with the Wandle Trust on specific projects. 

Erica Evans

Erica will be familiar to many as the super-organiser of our cleanups and she will now be looking into a revised Supporters’ Scheme for the Wandle Trust which she will set up and launch for us in the coming months (so do look out so that you can join us if you’re not already a member!).

Tim Longstaff

Tim is helping with river restoration projects and we have thrown him in at the deep end and he’s already doing a great job designing habitat enhancements, fish passage easements and managing an eel monitoring project.

Erica and Tim are both writing blogs as part of their Vodafone Awards, so do take a look at Erica’s blog here and Tim’s blog here to follow what they’re up to.